Building a Sustainable Closet: The 30×30 Challenge
What is a 30×30 challenge?
Last month, I pushed myself to further the journey into sustainable fashion by participating in a 30×30 challenge. What is a 30×30 challenge you ask? It’s a clothing experiment that for one month, you only wear 30 items of your choosing.
Since I’m also participating in Slow Fashion Season, the difficulty of this challenge was taken up a notch. What that means is that I have not bought any new clothing (vintage and secondhand are okay) since June 21st and won’t buy doing so until September 21st. Because of my strict parameters, I had to shop my closet for the next 30 days.
Since I was challenged to think outside of the proverbial box, it was important for me to record the data on my cost per wear too. I justify the cost of my clothes with the amount of times I wear it. It’s the whole buying less but better thing I keep talking about. If I’m going to talk about sustainability and minimalism, I better walk that talk, right?
Breakdown of the challenge
Here is the count of the clothing I used during the 30×30:
- Tops: 8
- Bottoms: 4 pants, 1 skirt
- Dresses: 7
- Outerwear: 4
- Shoes: 6
Below is a breakdown of each outfit with added links. I focused on linking the sustainable brands that I love and have worn a lot. Moreover, I intentionally left out the fast fashion brands because they’re basic items that don’t need to be further promoted by me.
Please note that a few of the links below are affiliate links which means I may receive a commission if you were to purchase an item.
- Day 1: Reformation oversized blazer paired with nude top and Only Child Linen Tide Pants in Oatmeal
- Day 2: Oversized white button down paired with Everlane wide leg crop pants
- Day 3: Tradlands 101 Martine Cameo in Tencel paired with Everlane Modern Boyfriend Jeans
- Day 4: Lacson Ravello Giuliana dress accessorized with Ilano Jing Slide Sandals
- Day 5: Vintage Suzani Coat, The End Yucca Valley tee, Ace & Jig Ellen in cactus
- Day 6: Only Child Luzon tie front top paired with Everlane Modern Boyfriend Jeans
Days 7 – 14:
- Day 7: [Fast Fashion] tee with Everlane wide leg crop pants
- Day 8: [Fast Fashion] Green polka dot top with black pants
- Day 9: outfit repeat of Day 3
- Day 10: Only Child Linen Tierra Dress in Oatmeal
- Day 11: [Fast fashion] White Dress paired with Everlane Modern Boyfriend Jeans
- Day 12: Reformation oversized blazer, nude top, and First Rite pleated skirt in bone
- Day 13: outfit repeat of day 5
- Day 14: Elizabeth Suzann Ella slip dress
Days 15 – 23:
- Day 15: Elizabeth Suzann Ella Slip dress paired with Tradlands 101 Martine Cameo Tencel
- Day 16: Ali Golden LS Collared Dress in Rose Dot paired with Linen Tide Pants in Oatmeal from Only Child
- Day 17: Reformation oversized blazer, nude top, Everlane Wide Leg Crop Pant
- Day 18: [not pictured] Oversized white button down paired with Everlane Modern Boyfriend Jeans, accessorized with Bryr Clogs Emma Cross-over in Whiskey
- Day 19, 20, 21: [not pictured] outfit repeat of the Elizabeth Suzann Ella Slip Dress
- Day 22: Elizabeth Suzann x Alabama Chanin top paired with First Rite pleated skirt in bone
- Day 23: Elizabeth Suzann x Alabama Chanin top paired with black pants
Days 24 – 31:
- Day 24: Ace & Jig Ellen in cactus paired with oversized white button down.
- Day 25: [outfit repeat/not pictured] Elizabeth Suzann Ella Slip dress paired with Cuyana reversible sweater
- Day 26: Elizabeth Suzann x Alabama Chanin top paired with Everlane Modern Boyfriend Jeans
- Day 27: Kaarem Dill High Collar Dress, vintage white coat accessorized with Intentionally Blank Fuschia Hunter Heels
- Day 28: [outfit repeat] Elizabeth Suzann Ella Slip dress accessorized with Bryr Clogs Emma Cross-over in Whiskey
- Day 29: Only Child set: Luzon tie front top and Linen Tide pants
- Day 30: Vintage white jacket paired with The End Yucca Valley tee and First Rite pleated skirt in bone
- Day 31: Nude top paired with Everlane wide leg crop pants
Tips on a Successful Challenge
My advice for folks who are interested in being more sustainable is to try a closet challenge. There are plenty of smaller challenges like a 5×5 or a 10×10 to help you along the way.
First, it’s important is to start with a few key quality basic pieces. A good black pant and top goes a long way. Although the price tag may be a bit steep, it is worth it to have an item that will last for a long time. From there, pair it with what you already have. Don’t feel guilty about having fast fashion items too! Trust me, we all do. Obviously, what I’m always preaching is to remember to wear your clothes and wear it often.
Secondly, get inspired! Hop on Instagram and connect with participants or the folks who are hosting. I guarantee that they will undoubtedly inspire you too.
Finally, just wear your clothes! I intentionally clashed items because I wanted to feel a bit more artistic in my choices. Trust me, I felt like a badass. And I bet you will too.
From picking out my pieces, to organizing looks, and getting inspired via Instagram, I thought the process was a crazy fun experiment. Because of this challenge, my creativity and love for fashion sparked again. Without a doubt, I am most grateful to have a strong community of sustainable fashion bloggers who also participated in the challenge. It was especially wonderful to see folks get creative with their own clothing choices.
Overall, the point of this whole experiment is to showcase the versatility of a limited wardrobe. I wanted to see what I consistently wear. In addition, I wanted give love to the clothes that I don’t often use. Since the end of the challenge, I recognize the importance of a good quality base piece. I repeated the Elizabeth Suzann Ella slip dress several times. Yet, every time I wore it, it still felt so beautiful. By pairing the dress with other vibrant pieces, it seemed to stand out even more.
Have you done a sustainable clothing challenge? How did it go for you? Let me know, I’d love to chat about it. As a result of the challenge, I became more creative in my every day clothing choices. I’m happier with what I have. And, isn’t that the ultimate goal?