10 tips to Spring Clean your way to a more sustainable wardrobe

By Frederique Gulcher

How to spring clean your wardrobe

Spring is here! My favourite time of year. Time for change. Time for a new wardrobe. Not from the mall, but from my cupboard.

Every season I opt to curate a capsule wardrobe. What is that? It’s a limited-item wardrobe curated mainly from your existing closet and lasting three months. It is designed to do four things:

1.     Make you limit your consumption of clothing (which saves you money)

2.     Make you more mindful about your wardrobe

3.     Encourage you to look after your clothes and make them last

4.     Save energy and time in the mornings!

Earlier this year, I participated in the six items challenge, wearing only six items of main clothing for six weeks. Yes, it was very tough, and I certainly became more mindful and careful of my clothes but overall it really shifted my focus from sustainable fashion to minimal and mindful fashion consumption. It was the catalyst to start operating a seasonal capsule wardrobe. 

As you can imagine, after the six items challenge 30 items seemed like a luxury!

Now after three seasons, I still love the process of creating my seasonal capsule wardrobe.

Not only does it allow me to hone in on my style each time, and choose carefully with practical and colour considerations in mind, but it is a very liberating process.

I always leave space for a couple of new items. Last season, I bought a new pair of trousers about a week before Winter ended – in fact, I ended up buying the WE-AR trousers I included in a recent blog: Five sustainable Kiwi fashion brands we love.


If you’re in need of a spring clean both of the wardrobe and the mind, then read these 10 handy tips to create your own Spring capsule.  

  1. The best way to start is to pull absolutely everything out of your wardrobe and create piles of most wanted to least wanted/unsure
  2. Now purge – get rid of anything that doesn’t deserve a spot. You could keep it for a future wardrobe if you’re not ready to part with it. Otherwise swop, sell, upcycle or donate.
  3. Considerations as you start putting items back – practicality, versatility, seasonality, and will you love and wear it for three months?
  4. Think about colours, outfit combinations and what accessories to use when curating.
  5. I recommend putting only 20 of your most loved items back and leaving 10 for jackets, one-off/statement pieces
  6. Everybody needs a couple of great statement/controversial/confidence pieces to keep things interesting. But even with these, prioritise those you can wear on multiple occasions, using accessories to change the look if need be
  7. Put your 30 items back neatly in the wardrobe. This should give you a great sense of pride and achievement, and also make it incredibly easy to see what you’re going to wear
  8. If you’re feeling a bit apprehensive and itching to put another few items back, don’t stress. This is about you and the process, and if you need a few more spots then take them.
  9. You can swop clothes during the season, especially if this is your first time. I have done it all three times, when I’ve realised I have made a mistake and chosen something I won’t really wear at all.
  10. Finally, if you do want new clothes, leave a couple of spaces in advance. I recommend looking for sustainable ethical brands to fill them. But, if you’re this far, you’ve done an awesome job already.

Enjoy your new you!


Frederique Gulcher