How to Build a Sustainable Wardrobe, According to Fashion Experts – NBC4 Washington


When Nadia Tandra designs dresses for her Maryland brand, Lunelllery, she wonders, “Will people wear and cherish the dresses that we have designed for a long time?” “

This fall, Nadia launched the second collection of her sustainable and ethical clothing line. And she has been with News4 throughout the journey, from the design process to the official launch.

As a designer, Nadia said she fights textile waste by using dead fabrics and producing a small amount of dresses. As a business owner, she said she maintains her brand ethics by establishing a close relationship with a small team of garment workers based in Indonesia.

This fall, Nadia launched the second collection of her sustainable and ethical clothing line. And she has been with News4 throughout the journey, from the design process to the official launch.

Nadia wants customers to bond with her clothes instead of getting rid of them quickly.

“With the rise of social media, trends come and go really fast, and people just see clothes as disposable instead of clothes that you can wear and cherish and wear for a long time,” Nadia said.

As statistics show how fast fashion contributes to landfills, Nadia and DC-area fashion experts discussed how consumers can create a more sustainable wardrobe.

Mimi Miller launched her sustainable brand, Mimi Miller Womenswear, in 2015. Since then, she has seen her customers more open to embracing sustainability in their clothing.

Trying to live a completely sustainable lifestyle, I think it’s very difficult, and I tell my clients, I think it’s small steps, ”Miller said.

Clean up your wardrobe for fall? DC area fashion experts have tips for making your wardrobe more durable this new season.

Find your style, don’t buy what’s trending

In her own wardrobe, Nadia sticks to her established style and she advises others to do the same.

“I think a lot of sustainability doesn’t create waste,” she said. “Invest in pieces that you are sure to wear for a long time, like timeless pieces. “

Most of the clothes she buys have a clean design without any patterns. Nadia buys clothes with puffed sleeves or midi dresses that she can dress up or down.

“I really want people to see clothes as an investment, something that you can wear for a long time instead of being disposable,” Nadia said.

She advises consumers to ask themselves these questions before purchasing a new garment:


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Shop your wardrobe

Janice Wallace, a DC sustainability expert in fashion and design, said that before you go shopping, start by looking at what’s already in your closet. This will reduce the potential waste that could end up in landfills.

“You’ll be surprised how many people don’t know exactly what’s in their closet,” Wallace said. “You really have to take stock of the things you have.”

She advises organizing her wardrobe by item, then by color, to make it easier to make outfits.

“When people go into their own closets and they can easily make an outfit, they’ll probably be a little less likely to go out and buy something brand new because they see they already have something in it. their closet, ”Wallace said. .

She suggests that unwanted items be donated to family members, charity shops, or organizations that help people get back to work like Dress for Success or DC for Change.

Donation box


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Recycle purchasing habits

Miller said sustainability is not limited to the type of fabric from which the clothes are made, but also to the consumption of consumers. It’s about recycling the buying habits that we need to have over all the time, she said.

“Sometimes having less can be just as good,” she said.

In high school and the early years of college, Miller said his closet was full. But now, the designer is more selective about what she buys.

“I buy a lot of neutral colored pieces, things that I can wear all the time,” Miller said.

Photos: Mimi Miller outfits

She favors the purchase of quality over quantity. She says when consumers buy lower quality clothing, they end up browsing items faster. This contributes tons of textiles to landfills every year.

“Personally, I would rather have three pieces that I really like, that look great on me, that are going to last a long time, as opposed to 15 pieces that I kind of like, and they don’t quite fit on me,” Miller said.

Wallace advises consumers to think about other ways to use their money, such as travel, dining, or other experiences.

If you always need new items, start by buying from thrift stores or on apps like Poshmark or Depop, so you can “add to your wardrobe responsibly,” Wallace said.

“We need to broaden our horizons beyond the sheer effect we get from shopping. There are many other ways to get that same level of dopamine than just shopping,” Wallace said.

This is part of a series of sustainable and ethical fashion in the DC area. Find the first part here.

Part 2 on how DC area designers are embracing ethical fashion can be found here.


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