Whether you’re a jetsetter, enjoy owning versatile pieces, or simply prefer to keep your wardrobe to a minimum, convertible clothing is a wonderful addition to nearly every wardrobe – and it’s even better for the environment than you might think.
Multi-purpose clothing means fewer pieces, which means the possibility of less waste and unnecessary consumerism. And with the alarming statistics that follow, you’ll be glad you gave convertible clothing a chance!
The Council for Textile Recycling (CTR) is “devoted to creating awareness about keeping our clothing, footwear, and textiles out of landfills.” In other words, this non-profit organization is committed to reducing the consumption of new, excessive clothing items, and in ensuring something good happens after they have served their purposes.
Sadly, however, these incidents of irresponsible consumerism have not been completely prevented, or even necessarily halted, based on the number of shoppers still buying troves of fast and cheap fashion. This decision has placed charitable organizations, like Goodwill, on the path to becoming a dumping ground for used up, flimsy, poorly made articles of clothing to accumulate and to eventually be added back to the sea of apparel headed for landfill.
According to the U.S. EPA, “textile waste occupies nearly 5 percent of all landfill space.” It is also estimated “that the textile recycling industry recycles approximately 3.8 billion pounds of post-consumer textile waste (PCTW) each year,” only accounting for “approximately 15 percent of all PCTW, leaving 85 percent in our landfills.” Additionally, it is believed that “the average U.S. citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.”
While it’s difficult to admit when you (or me) are that person contributing to the mounting number of waste caused by discarded clothing, when we choose to select a handful of smart, multi-purpose items (enter: convertible clothing), or even recycled second-hand apparel instead, then it becomes easier to omit the frivolous purchases we once thought were needed.
If you’re ready to reduce some of your household textile waste, while updating your closet with the looks you need, then continue reading for some exciting convertible clothing suggestions…
This piece is ultra-popular in the online shopping realm, often remaining sold out for long periods of time. With three neutral colors to choose from, charcoal, navy, and black, and with 30 different ways to wear, you can’t really beat this $110 price point. The Versalette is fabric knitted here in the USA and is cut and sewn in Denver, Colorado. It’s also machine washable, with one size fitting most. The retailer, Seamly.co, has an excellent set of tutorials and photos to show just how versatile this piece really is.
Founder and CEO, Kristin Glenn, put it beautifully on the website by saying, “Clothes matter. They are our most intimate possessions – our personal art, our expression, our protection. But there are shameful stories surrounding most of the clothing produced in the world today: tales of modern-day slavery, environmental disasters, over consumption, and extreme waste.” And this was her answer to those problems.
This full-length beauty is a great staple for almost any wardrobe. Easily dressed up or dressed down, this convertible piece is made from bamboo, soy, and organic cotton blends, and is generously cut to provide maximum versatility and comfort, promised to “feel as good as it looks.”
This dress is handmade to order from Yana Dee Clothing & Accessories out of Traverse City, Michigan, and even allows for customizations. The owner, designer, and fabricator has added a “unique lined layer under the bust to provide support and confidence so that you can dance and move freely.” She has also offered an array of colors to choose from, ranging from a rich orange called “pumpkin” to a dusky lavender called “frost.” And, if maxi lengths don’t work well for your body type, she sells other infinity dresses in shorter lengths.
According to Sew Red out of Charlotte, North Carolina, this very versatile, hand dyed, made in the USA, jumpsuit is one-of-a-kind. Crafted from soft, flowing, fluid fabric, this jumpsuit will drape beautifully over your body. It comes in a variety of earthy and grey-tone colors and features two inseam lengths.
This convertible, hand-made, head turning jumpsuit boasts extra-long straps offering a multitude of different top designs. A great alternative to a bridesmaids dress or evening wear, this piece can easily take you from day to night.
4. Double or Nothing Trench Coat
This super chic coat from Nasty Gal can be worn, as the name implies, two ways. It definitely covers the long and short of it – literally. With hip pockets, a front button closure, shoulder tabs, front and back overlay design, and button closure at the waste, this well-made jacket is – not surprisingly – sold out, but there is a handy dandy waitlist for the fashionable few who can’t live without this trench coat.
The founder and CEO of Nasty Gal, Sophia Amoruso, is helping women above and beyond the tools needed for a stylish wardrobe – this do-gooder also offers GIRLBOSS Foundation grants for creative females pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors. Each grant beneficiary is said to receive $15,000 in funding, plus exposure through the GIRLBOSS and Nasty Gal social channels.
This is one of the most striking convertible, long cardigans around. From the YAY Designs website, this piece offers the ability to wear as a cardigan, poncho, scarf, or wrap. Made in the USA, with a rayon, poly, and spandex blend, this cover up boasts a contrasting chiffon binding edge, cap sleeves, a button closure at back, and neck and armholes. There are several colors to choose from in this one-size fits all cardigan – and check out their video tutorial on how to wear.
Share your thoughts with us on these beautiful convertible clothing pieces. What are some of your favorite ways to keep textiles and old clothing out of landfills? Do you or would you own any convertible clothing? Let us know on the EcoSalon Facebook page!
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Image of Woman in Red Dress via Shutterstock