Eco Benefits of Seasonal Wardrobe Rotation?

We had quite a lot of conversations a few weeks ago about whether my linen dress was in-season or not. Obviously it is in season somewhere in the world and lots of people said I could continue wearing it into the colder months here in the UK if I paired it with tights and a cardigan. BUT, the light colours and deckchair-stripes make me feel like it is particularly summery, combine that with the fact that I am not short of winter clothes and I just know it isn’t going to get worn until spring.

This linen dress will definitely be worn all year round!

So, what I’ve been pondering this week is, should I pack away some of my clothes for the winter? I don’t own loads of clothes and am very lucky to not particularly need the space, but I am wondering if packing them away might be more eco-friendly? As well as potentially keeping them in better condition, I am also wondering if opening a box of ‘new’ clothes each season would scratch that itch for wanting something new to wear and might encourage me to make less?

This top is the sort of thing that I might pack away, yes I could wear it with jeans and a cardigan but I have enough winter clothes that I probably won’t.

I have never packed clothes away seasonally before, here in Yorkshire you never know when you will need a sweater or waterproofs in July and yet you might want a short dress for a party in December (though not this year, so maybe it’s a good time to experiment?!). And I certainly don’t have so many clothes where I have ever needed to rotate my wardrobe, but I definitely think it would be nice to ‘forget’ some pieces so I feel like I am getting something new, or even look forward to unpacking certain things when the weather warms up/cools down?

Another summery number that won’t be missed over winter…

We all like something new, it’s always exciting having something new to wear, but I don’t need to create so many new clothes. This year has definitely seen a big decrease in the amount of stuff I have been making, but I could do better. I am starting to come around to the idea of filling a plastic tub with things that are especially spring/summery that I know I definitely won’t wear over the next six months or so, I am thinking it will be really fun to open that box in April of next year and suddenly have loads of ‘new’ things to wear! I wonder if I might even like them more if they haven’t just been getting in the way all winter?

Another contender for packing away until spring…

After loads of Googling I have found loads of people giving tips on HOW to rotate your wardrobe seasonally but no tips on whether thats a more environmentally-friendly thing to do. I think it is. If it can scratch the itch of feeling like I’m getting something new without actually buying something new, then we’re already onto a winner! Remember, the most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe! And I think if I wash and pack things away carefully, like my hand-knitted wool jumpers, they are less likely to get eaten by moths/ caught on jewellery when I am rummaging through drawers/ or damaged by sunlight.

Obviously I want to keep these gorgeous knits in tip-top condition!

It helps that I am not interested in following trends and am not worried about my clothes going out of style (were they ever IN style?!) but what I am interested in, is making sure my clothes stay in good condition and last me for many years to come.

I want to add one final note to say that I am aware that I am lucky that I don’t HAVE to pack my clothes away, I am ‘lucky’ that after I had my little boy my shape changed so much (and I have the stretch marks to prove it) that none of my old clothes ever fit me again, so I don’t have a wardrobe full of years and years worth of stuff. I also have storage under the bed and a wardrobe to store things, I know lots of people don’t have the luxury of space and have no choice but to rotate their wardrobes!

What do you think? Do you pack your clothes away seasonally? If so, is it fun opening up a box of ‘new’ stuff twice a year? Do you think it has environmental benefits, or am I talking a lot of rubbish? I haven’t started sorting through clothes yet, so let’s chat!

9 thoughts on “Eco Benefits of Seasonal Wardrobe Rotation?

  1. I definitely identify with all of your sentiments here. I don’t have a massive amount of space, but I also don’t necessarily need to pack away to create space. What I do like is exactly what you have described… the feeling of getting back to “old friends” which have been out of action for a while. I know of people who say that they wear their clothes all year round, and just add or take away layers, but actually, I have found that my summer tops just aren’t warm enough. I also know about the coldness and fickleness of northern England, being a little bit further north than you are. I don’t like wearing cardigans under coats either, so I like my cosy sweaters. I am also keen on the sustainability aspect. I have actually gone back to wearing “house clothes” when I know I’m not going anywhere, in order to keep my good stuff in good condition, so that I can plan my makes according to what I need. Which, this year, is much less than other years!
    So, my summer tops, and linen trousers have been put away, and when I get them out again next spring, the cosy sweaters will be carefully put away until they are needed again.
    Great blog! Stay safe. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for writing out your thoughts on this – it is very much appreciated! I love the idea of house clothes to keep things in better condition and will definitely be thinking about how I can put that into practise. I agree that most of my summer tops aren’t warm enough for layering – I do think I will find it much easier to pack away summer stuff that I 100% know I will not need until May at least, whereas I am sure my autumn/winter stuff could probably be worn all year round! I think it will be nice to try and go for that feeling you described of rediscovering ‘old friends’ – I hope I get that!

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  2. I am blessed with good wardrobe space, so I leave my clothes out all year, I live in the south, I do have summer and winter piles of jumpers and cardigans, I hang everything else. I do like to be able to pull on a warmer T shirt on a winters day, just to feel closer to the sun, even if it is not in the sky. Many years ago I had to pack seasonal items away, and was always fed up with the creases when unpacking.

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  3. I live in New York City and (despite what you may have seen on certain American TV shows) living space is really at a premium here. But we do have well-defined and fairly extreme seasons so I pack away clothes every fall/spring then take them back out again in six months. And, for me anyway, it is totally delightful to take clothes out of storage. You know that feeling you get when you take holiday decorations out, like “oh! this one! I love this one!” — it’s like that but for your clothes. It also really helps me to see what I don’t love, items that are not working for me, things I can set aside and either restyle or hand off to someone else.

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    1. That feeling is exactly what I was hoping for! I am so glad you’ve said that! I know I am very lucky to not really need the space but I think it will be good to have some time away from some things and then have renewed appreciation for them each year!

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      1. I have just packed away summer clothes. All the things I know I won’t wear during the winter. I unpacked my winter clothes. I have far fewer winter clothes, even accounting for party clothes , lets face it they’re not going to get a look in. However I do have lots of trans-seasonal items that get worn all year round. These are my wardrobe staples. I do need less summer stuff and more winter cosies.

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      2. Yes! Not seeing them for a while helps me fall in love with my own clothes again. And it definitely tamps down that “I’m bored with all my clothes, I want new stuff” feeling for me.

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  4. I cant think of any reasons why packing away is more eco friendly. I feel like I have the opposite problem to clothes wearing out. Mine seem to last forever. I want them to wear out so I can enjoy making more and not feel eco guilt.

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