7 Different Sustainable Outfits For All Personalities and for All Seasons

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7 Different Sustainable Outfits For All Personalities and for All Seasons

Everything that goes into the apparel industry, from cloth sourcing to production, to manufacturing, advertising and discarding have a massive environmental impact. The statistics are staggering. National Geographic finds that it takes 2700 litres of water to make one cotton shirt. As for mixed material garments, they use oil and plastics to manufacture, which produces a large carbon footprint.  Plus, fast and cheap fashion involves exploitative labour practices. However, it is not just producers who are to blame—we, as consumers, tend to invest greatly in fast fashion and make sparse use of the clothes. Research finds that we are consuming 60% more clothes than we did ten years ago, and discarding each garment twice as quickly. From an ecological perspective, the reality of fashion seems very bleak.

However, thanks to rising awareness, brands and people are targeting sustainability as one of the goals of fashion. Designers and brands like Stella McCartney and Chic Cartel are trying to make fashion using recycled materials and organic cotton. While this may seem unfashionable, in truth, sustainable fashion does not make any compromises on style. If you are ecologically conscious and love dressing up, there are some great outfit ideas that you can use sustainably. You can reuse these outfits across different events and seasons, and they are versatile enough to match your sense of style! Check some of these outfit ideas out:

1. Long Shirts

men's shirt


The best part about sustainable fashion is that the definition of sustainability isn’t restrictive. Based on what is most comfortable for you—whether it is purchasing less, reusing more, experimenting with the same pieces, or investing in sustainably produced clothes—there is a forum for you. If you are the kind of person who likes experimenting and using the same outfit in different ways, your go-to outfit is the long shirt. With a hem that falls close to your knees, there is a lot you can do with the long shirt. You can pair it with a belt and boots, and wear it as a dress. Or you can tuck it into your trousers, and wear it as a classic shirt. You can even leave it open and use it as a coat of sorts with a white tank top! No matter the event or the time of the year, you can mould the long shirt to create a smart look. As an extra sustainability tip, invest in a long shirt made of organic cotton!

2. Basic Sustainable Jeans

man in a pair of jeans


Denim jeans are an indispensable part of every wardrobe. In fact, if you believe reusing is the best method of ecological fashion, a pair of jeans become a must since they are long-lasting and the same pair can be easily paired with different tops. However, the real problem with jeans lies in denim production. Research finds that producing a single pair of jeans can take up to 7000 litres of water. Greenpeace also finds that annually, denim production releases 1.7 million tons of chemicals into our water. Fortunately, a number of mainstream jeans companies, including Levi’s, are trying to combat these issues by investing in more sustainable practices. Levi’s, particularly, has now come up with technology that reduces 96% of water usage in denim production. Other brands are trying to emulate this model. While looking for jeans, look for brands that make jeans sustainably, and you are good to go!

3. Sweater Dresses

Another way to practice sustainable fashion is to buy pieces that you can use throughout the year, rather than buying outfits that last only for a few months in the year. This way, you can end up using the outfit more, and making the most of it. Knitted sweater dresses are a classic example of outfits that you can use through the year. The short length of a sweater dress means that with a light knit, you can easily use it in the summer. In the winters, this dress will keep you warm. Paired with stockings, it makes for an elegant outfit for a cold night out. Sweater dresses also come in a range of colours and patterns so you can pick the one that best reflects your personality!

4. Vegan Jackets

man wearing a black leather jacket


A standard way of jazzing up and bringing some easy variation into your outfit is by wearing a jacket over it. No matter the time of the year, you can don a jacket of different weights. The one problem with sustainability that jackets seem to have, however, is that a lot of them are made using leather and fur. Both these materials are animal products, extracted by killing or treating animals inhumanely. Worse, many consider them to be luxury items, which makes them even more desirable. A good way to offset this trend, and wear ethically sourced jackets instead, is by investing in vegan jackets and coats. Essentially, this means buying jackets that are made completely without any animal products. Brands like ‘Free People’ make vegan and faux-fur and leather jackets, which are long-lasting and sustainable. By buying these jackets, you can be both trendsetting and live ethically!

5. Versatile Gym Wear

woman in gym gear


For most people trying to practice ethical fashion, the one point whether it becomes hard to avoid plastic-based garments, like polyester, is the gym. Clothes with polyester blends are moisture-wicking and breathable, which makes them ideal for high-intensity exercises. Since the fabric seems virtually unavoidable, the best method for sustainable fashion is to buy gorgeous gym wear, so that you can wear it outside the gym too. If you enjoy working out, invest in powerlifting apparel like tank tops and crop tops. You can pair these with leggings, shorts and jeans; even rocking a crop top as a fun bralette! By using gym wear as a versatile clothing option, you can bring out your experimental, creative side, while being as eco-friendly as possible.

6. Felted Wool Shoes

woman leg's hanging out of a drier


A major part what you wear is your shoes. This is another part of fashion where sustainability seems difficult since most shoes are made of leather, or through plastics and rubbers that use a lot of chemicals. However, thanks to the innovation of companies, new and stylish eco-friendly shoes are becoming widely accessible. One of the most interesting and fashionable shoes out there are felted wool sneakers by Baabuk. Their sneakers are fashionable, breathable and warm, and made of wool! If you are looking for vegan shoes, Veja is another company worth trying, since they produce sneakers made of organic rubber and cotton. There is no better way of taking a step towards sustainable fashion, than switching over to eco-friendly shoes!

7. Blacks and Whites

Besides ethically sourced clothes, made from sustainable fashion, sustainable fashion also focuses on reducing consumption. To do that, you should stick to wardrobe staples and styles. There are some staple fashion ideas that you can fall back on to make a statement, without excessively consuming clothes. Combinations such as black and white outfits are wardrobe classics and suit every occasion and time of the season. Invest in wardrobe essentials like t-shirts and slacks that are black and white, since you can pair them up and use them across a range of situations. Plus, if you ever tire of them, you can add interesting patterns to your black and white tee, or pair it up with a pop of colour! Investing in such versatile essentials will definitely help reduce the ecological impact of over-consumption.


If you were to think of all the things we do that damage the environment, ‘dressing up’ would probably be the last thing on your mind. Yet, studies show that clothing production and use, make clothing the second largest pollutant in the world, after oil pollution. This does not mean that investing in fashion is an absolute no-no. Simply try opting for sustainable alternatives, and you can look amazing while saving the planet!

Harold Camayaharold

She is a blogger who loves to write in different verticals. She co-authored Supercharge Organic Traffic: A popular course focusing on Organic Traffic for Ecommerce.. Her hobbies are travelling and reading novels.

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