Curate a sustainable capsule wardrobe with these eco-friendly basics

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Lara Faye
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Head to these labels for the best sustainable fashion staples that will form the backbone of your wardrobe for years to come. From an ultra-soft sustainable hoodie to a timeless watch made from pineapple leather, these chic pieces are as eco-conscious as they are endlessly stylish. 

Though they might lack the glamour of a silky slip dress or the excitement of a statement-making suit, there is no denying that great personal style starts with luxurious basics. Your failsafe pair of jeans suddenly feel fresh when worn with the perfect fitting white T-shirt. Add a timeless tan trench and in an instant you have a polished outfit that looks impeccably put together, even if you threw it on in seconds. 

From snug sweaters to the hibernation hoodies, just because we wear these staples in our everyday lives doesn’t mean we should pay them any less consideration than more stylish going-out pieces. In fact, it’s precisely because we wear these basics so much that they deserve our special occasion. After all, doesn’t it make more sense to invest in ultra-luxe pieces that will make us feel effortlessly chic on a daily basis, than the stand-out dress that we might wear once or twice? 

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Reformation environmentally friendly dress

Buying less starts with buying better, and as we consider how to reduce our impact on the environment we’re saying ‘no’ to the bargain jumpers and T-shirts that lose their shape after the first wash. Instead, we’re spending a little more on the premium pieces that will last for years to come, thanks to their classic cuts and timeless styles like the Reformation midi dress above.

Best of all, not only are these style staples designed to stand the test of time, but they’re manufactured using sustainable processes. From innovative denim fabrication techniques that use up to 90% less water to a sustainably-forested alternative to cotton, these pieces use the latest eco-conscious technologies to ensure that they are as planet friendly as they are endlessly stylish. 

Whether you’re looking for an ultra-comfortable bra that won’t ruin in the wash or a classic cashmere sweater to upgrade your stay at home style, these are the best eco-friendly basics to add to your capsule wardrobe now. 

  • Votch – The cruelty-free watch

    Votch watch

    Whether seen peeking out from under a blazer sleeve or worn off-duty with a colourful knit, a timeless watch is the accessory that adds polish to every outfit. If you’re searching for an alternative to leather, cruelty-free vegan watch brand Votch will leave you spoilt for choice. Though they might look as luxe as animal leather, their watch straps are made from Pinatex, a conscious vegan alternative that is produced from pineapple skin, a sustainable by-product of the pineapple harvest.

    Shop gold and black watch at Votch, £120

  • Reformation – The sustainably made midi dress

    Known for its flippy dresses and air of casual Californian cool, Reformation was founded in 2009 with sustainability at its core. Creating wear-forever dresses that you’ve seen all over Instagram, it comes as a surprise to many to learn that the covetable pieces are made from materials including rescued dead stock fabric, repurposed vintage clothing and wood-based fibres such as Tencel. Case in point? This chic floral midi is the dress a go to, and it’s manufactured entirely from viscose – a fibre made from wood pulp, sourced from sustainably managed forests. 

    Shop Nikita dress at Reformation, £265

  • People Tree – The sustainable denim boilersuit

    People Tree boilersuit

    A pioneer of ethical clothing, People Tree has been waging a war on fast fashion for three decades, one staple piece at a time. It puts farmers and artisan makers at the forefront, and in 2013 it became the first fashion brand to receive the Fairtrade mark. Its wear-forever denim boilersuit is 100% certified organic cotton and is manufactured using a process that requires up to 90% less water to produce than conventional denim production. 

    Shop denim boilersuit at People Tree, £145

  • Bleusalt – The super-soft hoodie

    The fabric in all Bleusalt’s cosy hoodies and T-shirts is made from beechwood, a sustainable botanic fibre. Not only is it one of the softest fibres on earth, but it’s derived from a tree which self-propagates, meaning forests that produce this silky-soft fabric are 100% sustainable. Available in four neutral shades, this cosy piece is one you’ll never want to part with. 

    Shop Bleusalt waffle skater hoodie, £150

  • Kowtow – The classic crew sweater

    Kowtow dress

    When you consider how much air-time a failsafe black dress gets, its worth investing a style that makes you feel polished every time you slip it on. This chic style is made from organic cotton that is free from chemical sprays,  and dyed with Global Organic Textile Standard approved inks, which are free from chlorine bleach and other skin irritants. 

    Shop volume black dress at Kowtow, £92 (previously £129)

  • Lavender Hill Clothing – The perfect-fit T-shirt

    When building a capsule wardrobe, who better to take inspiration from than Meghan Markle. The sustainable brand seen on the Duchess herself, Lavender Hill Clothing makes the perfectly fitted T-shirts that we’ve always dreamed of owning. Designed in a rainbow of colours, all their T-shirts and vests are made in England from sustainable and biodegradable fabrics.

    Shop scoop neck T-shirt at Lavender Hill Clothing, £40

  • Orwell + Austen – The love-forever cashmere jumper

    Orwell and Austen cardigan

    A timeless cashmere cardigan is a wardrobe essential, and this ultra-luxurious piece has impeccable sustainable credentials. Handwoven in Nepal from 100% recycled cashmere, this classic grey style is proof that eco-conscious design can look (and feel) blissfully indulgent. Style as a top with jeans or over a midi dress – the natural fibres are toasty enough for cool winter mornings but lightweight enough for sunny spring days so you’ll wear it all year round. 

    Shop recycled cashmere cardigan Orwell + Austen, £180

  • Woron – The ultra-comfortable bra

    Make ill-fitting underwear a thing of the past with this endlessly wearable bra from Woron.  A vegan, cruelty-free, slow fashion brand making chic, modern underwear, loungewear and basics, Woron creates bras that are designed for your most natural fit, not to uncomfortably contort your body to fit the bra. What’s more, each bra is sewn from the sustainably sourced Lenzing Modal: a fine fibre made from beechwood.

    Shop lace trimmed soft bra at Woron, £50

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Opening image: People Tree

Other images: courtesy of brands