03 Mar

Build the Perfect Sustainable Spring Capsule Wardrobe

The sun is back. Let’s take a look at how to create a sustainable spring capsule wardrobe. Think breathable materials, neutral and pastel colours, and floral prints.

How to create the perfect spring capsule wardrobe

We don’t want to sound repetitive, but hear us out: capsule wardrobes are the way to go. Not only do they make getting dressed in the morning simpler, they foster a more sustainable relationship with clothing.

What is a capsule wardrobe? For the uninitiated or unconvinced, they’re basically a small collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories that are interchangeable, enabling you to build countless outfits from fewer items overall. By using neutral colours that pair well together perhaps with one accent colour, in materials that compliment each other, the “mix-and-match” process becomes second nature. For spring colour palettes, we like neutral and pastel tones. And in terms of materials, we love to start incorporating a sturdy denim jacket over breathable linens to slowly transition to the summer season.

A capsule wardrobe for spring should contain transitional and layerable pieces for weather that can’t make up its mind, and ideally, is a mix of things you already own, pre-loved pieces, and a select few ethically-made items from “Good” or “Great” brands if you need them.

If you haven’t read our hero piece on creating capsules, head over there first. And if spring is nowhere in sight where you are, here are our curated guides to fall, summer, and winter capsules.

The basic steps

Prefer a capsule guide to creating a capsule? We get it. Life is busy. Here are the bite-sized basics:

  • Take stock of what you have for the season and separate everything into repair, give away/sell, recycle, or keep
  • Make a list of what you’ll need for a spring capsule perfect for you, and store anything on the keep list that won’t work this season
  • Find any gaps and fill them with second hand, swapped, or new pieces (inspiration below)

What to include

Spring is an exciting season for fashion, as the warmer weather allows you to experiment and have fun with lighter materials and colours. Of course specific items depend on your location, style, and other needs, but this is a good place to start:

  • short and long sleeve tees (early spring can be treacherous)
  • tops and blouses
  • sweaters or cardigans
  • denim jacket (a great spring basic)
  • dresses and skirts
  • comfortable jeans and pants
  • socks and tights
  • short pyjamas
  • shoes (loafers, sneakers, boots for a rock vibe)
  • neutral belt
  • cute bag
  • sunglasses and hat

Our favourite brands for a sustainable spring capsule

Need some inspo, or to fill a gap in your budding spring capsule? Here are some of our favourite “Good” and “Great” brands creating layerable basics to see you through transeasonal dressing.

Yes Friends

Rated: Great
women wearing affordable sustainable tees by Yes Friends

Original White T-Shirt – Ships internationally from the UK

Yes Friends is a UK-based fashion brand that creates sustainable, ethical, and affordable clothing for everyone. Yes Friends' first product, classic cut t-shirts, cost less than £4 to make and the brand only charges £7.99. Using large scale production and direct to consumer margins means Yes Friends can charge you an affordable price for its sustainable and ethical clothing. Find the range inclusively sized in 2XS-4XL.

See the rating.

Shop Yes Friends.

The Classic T-Shirt Company

Rated: Great

Long Sleeve Crew Neck – Ships internationally from the US

The Classic T-Shirt Company is a US brand that creates premium tees and ethical t-shirts with luxury and integrity. All of its products are GOTS certified organic cotton and it does not use any animal products. The Classic T-Shirt Company’s range is available in US sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop The Classic T-Shirt Company.

Shop The Classic T-Shirt Company @ Urbankissed.

TAMGA Designs

Rated: Great

Zofia Sleeveless Top – Ships internationally from the US

TAMGA Designs is out to prove how colourful and exciting sustainable fashion can be, serving up gorgeous, flowy designs that will glide you into warmer weather with poise and grace. TAMGA offers a range of tops, skirts, dresses, and accessories made from 100% Micro TENCEL® and LENZING™ ECOVERO™. You can find the full range of this Canadian brand in sizes XS-2XL.

See the rating.

Shop TAMGA Designs.

Altar

Rated: Good
Cropped shot of someone wearing a pink triblend ethically made shirt by Altar.

Rowan Wrap Top – Ships internationally from the US

Altar is a US-based boutique that specialises in alternative and custom fashion, apothecary, and gifts. The brand celebrates independent manufacturers and artists from across North America, with a focus on the stories that are woven into their work. Its clothing brand, Altar Houseline, is proudly made in America using deadstock materials and serves size gradations from size S to 6XL.

See the rating.

Shop Altar.

Colorful Standard

Rated: Good

Light Merino Lavender Sweater – Ships internationally from Denmark

Colorful Standard is a Danish clothing brand that makes organic fashion essentials for men and women. The brand doesn't care much for seasons or trends, instead, it creates timeless and long-lasting products to avoid the downward spiral that is over-consumption. Find most items in sizes XS to 2 XL.

See the rating.

Shop Colorful Standard.

Armedangels

Rated: Great

Velitaa Denim Jacket – Ships internationally from Germany

Affordable, ethical, and on-trend. Germany’s Armedangels gets a "Great" rating overall from us. The brand covers all the basics for women, men, and kids. Armedangels' quality and long-lasting pieces are made from eco-friendly and certified materials, like Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified cotton. The brand also adopted the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Conduct to protect its workers abroad. Its products are available in sizes XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Armedangels.

Shop Armedangels @ thegreenlabels.

Shop Armedangels @ Earthkind.

Shop Armedangels @ Veneka.

Christy Dawn

Rated: Great

Basil Dress – Ships internationally from the US

Christy Dawn is a minimalist showroom for vintage-inspired women's clothing and footwear, locally made with surplus fabric. The US brand rates "Great", making it a fabulous boho option for your wardrobe. Find the clothes in standard sizes XS-XL, or shop the Extended and Petite collections.

See the rating.

Shop Christy Dawn.

Baukjen

Rated: Good

Jessica Skirt – Ships internationally from the UK

Baukjen is a London-based womenswear brand, with a focus on environmental, ethical, and sustainable style. Its clothes are designed for you, designed for good. The brand uses some eco-friendly materials, which helps limit the amount of chemicals, water, and wastewater used in production. Find the range in sizes XS-L.

See the rating.

Shop Baukjen.

Boyish

Rated: Great

The Jovi – Ships internationally from the US

Love the & Other Stories vibe, but hate their fast fashion business model? Boyish has all the quality, fit, and authentic washes that you could want without the harmful practices. Find sizes 2XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Boyish.

Shop Boyish @ Reve en Vert.

MUD Jeans

Rated: Great

Regular Dune Stretch – Ships internationally from the Netherlands

Dutch denim brand MUD Jeans is all about sustainability. Not only does it offer a repair service, but it also provides a rental service where you can lease a pair of jeans for up to a year. MUD Jeans uses a combination of GOTS certified organic cotton and post-consumer recycled cotton. MUD Jeans are available in a range of sizes, usually from W25 L30-W33 L32 for women and W28 L34-W36 L34 for men.

See the rating.

Shop MUD Jeans.

Shop MUD Jeans @ Labell-D.

Dedicated

Rated: Great

Organic Cotton Chinos – Ships internationally from Sweden

If you love a great graphic print, Swedish label Dedicated has you covered. Dedicated is an ethical streetwear brand for men, women, and children. All cotton used in its pieces are 100% organic and most are Fairtrade-certified, which means that you don’t have to sacrifice your ethics to dress in style. Find the clothes in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop Dedicated.

Shop Dedicated @ Curate.

Shop Dedicated @ Earthkind.

The Nude Label

Rated: Good
Genderless muted tone socks ethically made by The Nude Label.

Stone Cotton Socks – Ships internationally from the US

The Nude Label curates comfy vegan underwear, swimwear, and sandals that feel as good as they look. All the pieces are made in a family-run factory in Valencia, Spain. The closeness to the studio allows The Nude Label to have greater control over the process and ensure good working practices. Most products are available in XS-XL.

See the rating.

Shop The Nude Label.

MATE the Label

Rated: Great

Tencel Sleep Tee Dress – Ships internationally from the US

MATE the Label creates clean essentials made with GOTS certified organic fabrics and low-impact dyes. Its goal is to offer women everywhere a clean product that is just as beautiful as it is sustainable. It is proudly female-founded and is predominately operated by women. This US brand also manufactures locally to reduce its carbon footprint. Find the range in inclusive sizes XS-3XL.

See the rating.

Shop MATE the Label.

CARIUMA

Rated: Good

Off-White Canvas – Ships internationally from Brazil

CARIUMA is a sustainable Brazilian sneaker brand that wants you to feel super comfortable while providing effortless style in organic canvas, leather, and suede styles. Find CARIUMA's shoes in US sizes 5-13.

See the rating.

Shop CARIUMA.

NAE

Rated: Good
close up of black chunky vegan loafers by nae

Black Vegan Loafers – Ships internationally from Portugal

NAE is a Portuguese footwear, bags, and accessories brand using innovative materials to create goods with “No Animal Exploitation”. Its sustainable materials include recycled PET from bottles, OEKO-TEX® certified microfibres, recycled car tyres, natural cork, recycled thermoplastic, and even pineapple leaf fibre. Find most of the shoes in sizes 36-46.

See the rating.

Shop NAE.

Shop NAE @ Staiy.

Shop NAE @ Urbankissed.

Good Guys

Rated: Good

Vegan Chelsea Boots – Ships internationally from France

Good Guys creates cruelty-free shoes for women and men, founded and designed by Marion Hanania in Paris. Through Good Guys, Hanania aims to create the perfect cruelty-free, made in Europe closet, where no animal product is involved, and the production guarantees fair trade working conditions. Find most shoes in EU sizes 36 to 46.

See the rating.

Shop Good Guys.

Shop Good Guys @ Immaculate Vegan.

Shop Good Guys @ thegreenlabels.

Unbelts

Rated: Good

Unbelt Classic – Ships internationally from Canada

Unbelts was founded with two goals in mind: helping you feel great in your jeans, but also creating quality jobs for every single person along the supply chain. Unbelts creates stretch belts that make pants fit perfectly without bumps or gaps.

See the rating.

Shop Unbelts.

Parker Clay

Rated: Good

Topa Mini Bucket Bag – Ships internationally from the US

A bag that saves lives? You got it. Parker Clay is an American based brand looking to create a future without exploitation by bettering lives and communities in Ethiopia. The brand has partnered with Ellilta Women at Risk program, fighting to bring women out of prostitution by providing a more stable income and safe working environment. Parker Clay also helps preserve traditional Ethiopian techniques, materials, and styles, ensuring that this fast growing country is able to remain close to its beautiful roots.

See the rating.

Shop Parker Clay.

Pala Eyewear

Rated: Good

Lich Sunglasses – Ships internationally from the UK

Pala Eyewear offers high quality, long-lasting eyewear while committing to minimise the company's impact on the planet.

See the rating.

Shop Pala Eyewear @ Curate.

Shop Pala Eyewear @ Rêve En Vert.

Shop Pala Eyewear.

Looking for more spring inspo? Check out our favourite versatile sustainable spring staples under $50

Editor's note

Feature image via Armedangels, all other images via brands mentioned. Good On You publishes the world’s most comprehensive ratings of fashion brands’ impact on people, the planet and animals. We love to recommend some of the best sustainable brands, rated “Good” or “Great”. We also encourage shopping pre-owned as another great way to reduce the impact of our fashion choices. Use our directory to search thousands of rated brands. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links.

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