You’ve probably heard of the magical appeal of a capsule wardrobe, which basically means narrowing down your entire closet to a few pieces that work well together. But when we’re all so used to being bombarded with new fashion on a daily basis, switching to a capsule wardrobe can be daunting. Where do you even start? What do you buy, and where? And most importantly—how do you make sure it’s ethical?

Here are some tips to live by:

01 | Quality Over Everything
Those five-dollar shirts might catch your eye now, but they aren’t as much of a bargain if they don’t last more than a wash or two. This is why the Slow Fashion Movement is more important than ever . It puts more emphasis on quality and thoughtful production, not only because it saves you money in the long run, but it’s simply better for the planet, too. Start with brands like Kowtow and Reformation — companies at the forefront of the retail revolution.

02 | Versatility is Key
Fashion is fraught with trends, so at the end of the day, you just end up with a pile of clothes that aren’t as cool as they were a month ago. Instead, invest in timeless, versatile clothes that are easy to style for whatever purpose. The sustainable athletic wear pieces on Girlfriend Collective look good on the streets just as much as they do at the gym. It also saves you time instead of wondering about what to wear.

03 | Balance Style and Comfort
Sustainable fashion can be comfortable and stylish, too. Go for a good balance of both so you know you’re investing in clothing that you truly love. The thoughtful details on Woman Within’s knit pants include soft fabrics and the all-important side pocket. Features like these ensure that you make the most out of your capsule item and don’t have to keep purchasing replacements.

04 | Learn to Mend
We live in a world where it’s more convenient to throw out a torn shirt than fix it. With that, sewing has become such an underrated life skill. But learning how to mend your own clothes has more benefits beyond extending their life span. Because you have to invest some personal time into making it last, it helps redefine your relationship with a garment altogether. Lifestyle blog Care to Keep recommends Raleigh Briggs’ book, Fix Your Clothes: The Sustainable Magic of Mending, Patching, and Darning, as a good starting point.

05 | Get in the loop
You might have heard of the phrase “closing the loop.” In fashion, this means an item gets to circulate within society and max out its purpose for as long as possible — which means no single uses or one-time wears. You can do this by buying from thrift shops, which are also easier on the wallet. Rental services like Rent the Runway and Armoire are great for those special occasion items you likely won’t wear again.

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