When you’re battling the wind and rain in the sudden reminder that winter is still very much upon us, it can be tempting to want to reinvent your entire wardrobe to cope with the weather. Whether you’re looking for a new coat to beat the chill or a classic winter outfit for the office, there are ways to get the chic winter look that don’t cost the earth – literally.

With Brits throwing away an average of 72 pieces of clothing per person per year, sustainable fashion has never looked so good. Instead of buying pieces destined for the bin, it’s time to be a bit more thoughtful with your wardrobe to help you look good and stay warm – without warming up the planet in the process.

Invest in quality pieces
The trouble with fast fashion is the lack of durability; you buy one thing only to have to replace it within a matter of months. The key to a sustainable wardrobe is taking a quality over quantity approach, choosing to invest in timeless garments made from reliable materials.

“Taking the time to find the right piece that ticks every box you’re looking for is an important first step in ensuring that your new purchases will be an investment rather than an expense,” says Mark Hogarth, Brand Ambassador for Harris Tweed Hebrides.

“There’s an instant gratification that comes with making a quick buy, but how are these clothes serving you in the long term? Are they going to last you several winters? If the answer is no, then it’s worth considering other options that will. A jacket or scarf made from wool is going to have so much more longevity than those made from synthetics – and really, they just look better!”

Instead of chasing that trend, think about future you. Don’t leave future you out of pocket by buying a coat that won’t even last one winter, let alone two. A considered purchase is good for you and good for the planet.

Embrace second-hand finds
Sustainable fashion isn’t just about making eco-friendly choices when buying new clothes – it’s also about giving pre-loved clothes a second chance. More than six in ten Brits bought second-hand items between August 2022 and August 2023, showing a real appetite for making ethical purchases.

The same rules apply when shopping second-hand; hunt for quality items that will stand the test of time and serve you well in the long run. It’s worthwhile creating a checklist of needs too, as the thought of sifting through pre-loved goods can seem overwhelming without a plan.

Make a list of items that you genuinely need or would like to get from your second-hand shopping trip, and familiarise yourself with brands that are known for quality and durability. For example, if you’re shopping for knitwear and want to ensure the wool is of a high standard, look for the shepherd’s crook logo. This indicates that a garment is made from 100% British wool, so you can feel reassured that you’re making a purchase that will last.

Create a capsule wardrobe
“I’m sure we’ve all heard of the phrase ‘capsule wardrobe’ – but what actually is the point of creating one?” says Rachel Carvell-Spedding, founder and CEO at Navygrey.

“They’re simple, can be cost-effective and tend to encourage a more quality wardrobe. By having a select number of essential pieces that can be mixed and matched, you’re making it easier to create outfits and reducing the decision fatigue that comes from having too many options. We’ve all been guilty of standing in front of a wardrobe full of clothes and saying we’ve nothing to wear – a capsule wardrobe helps prevent this.”

While the upfront cost of a quality piece may be more than many fast fashion items, you’re more likely to save money in the long run. Creating a capsule wardrobe promotes a more intentional approach to your fashion, prioritising a timeless personal style over impulsive consumerism.

You can choose to have one full capsule wardrobe, with natural materials like wool being appropriate across seasons due to its temperature regulating qualities, or you can create seasonal halves so you have separate options for winter and summer.