January 2019

Sustainable style: making the most of a compact wardrobe


This blog post was sponsored by Garnet Hill. As always, the images and words are my own. Any photographs of my son and/or the pups were taken as they interacted happily in their own natural ways. — Whitney Morris

From our health to our habits to our homes, January is awash with renewal. It’s an inspiring and freeing feeling that I love. But now more than ever, it comes with true weight and responsibility.

As this Earth becomes increasingly depleted, it’s up to each one of us to analyze many of our everyday actions and evaluate how they impact the environment, and to scrutinize every single one of our purchases. 

I live (and work full-time) in a “tiny house” on the Venice Beach Canals. I live here with my husband, our toddler, and our two rescue beagles. 

Our small cottage, as well as the items within our correspondingly compact wardrobe, get a serious amount of wear-and-tear.

When you have limited square footage, every inch plays multiple roles and gets heavy traffic. And when you only own a select number of garments, each piece gets worn often. 

As such, there are many things I consider when selecting new items for our closet and home. But here are two shared rules of note.

First, I prefer to stick to using soothing, neutral tones as the foundation of everything. 

You can always add a pop of color and pattern in another, smaller layer, but your base will be open to endless, timeless permutations.

Secondly, I look for high quality, ethically-sourced, and responsibly-produced pieces that can endure the passage of time and evolving tastes. 

It saves money in the long run, and reduces our footprint on this precious planet by encouraging us to consume more mindfully, and thus waste less.

This is why, year after year, I’ve enjoyed Garnet Hill and admired their clothing made of natural fibers, offered in palettes inspired by nature. 

In the warmer months, I’m almost always draped in their linen and Tencel™. In the cooler seasons, their Cashmere (particularly the Eco-Cashmere) is my mainstay. 

Learn more about my favorite Garnet Hill fabrics:

  • Garnet Hill Eco-Cashmere is made from the natural white, beige, and brown fibers. Undyed and unbleached, they are processed with even less water and zero chemicals. The seams of our sweaters are linked by hand at a maker that sells to only a handful of high-end clothiers in Europe… and to one in the United States: Garnet Hill. From start to finish, every step in our manufacturing process takes place under the glass roof of a world-class, eco-conscious production facility. With proper care, your cashmere sweater will last for years and years.
  • Garnet Hill Cashmere is made from the fine, downy undercoat of Kashmir goats. We create long-term relationships with the herdsmen who raise them on multi-generational family farms in Inner Mongolia, where changeable weather has evolved goats with longer, loftier, softer fibers. Clipped but once a year in spring, these purebreds are treated like pets; never crossbred for higher yields, as some farms do. This produces the highest-quality fibers, which are then washed, carded, and spun into sumptuous two-ply yarns twisted to resist pilling without compromising strength. To achieve our vibrant colors, we use only Oeko-Tex®-certified eco-friendly dyes, in a factory designed to use fewer chemicals, less water, and less energy.
  • Garnet Hill Tencel™ A strong, easy-care fabric, TENCEL™ is made of natural cellulose derived from sustainably harvested wood pulp from renewable tree farms. Introduced in 1991, this modern, eco-friendly fabric is also known as lyocell. Buttery-soft, smooth and elegant, it has a luxurious hand and elegant drape yet is highly absorbent and versatile. TENCEL™ is widely used in clothing and home textiles, from denim, chino and casual attire to bath towels and bed linens.
  • Linen is one of the oldest textile fibers. The finest linen comes from the blue-flowered flax plant grown mainly in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Linen is breathable, comfortable in warm weather, has excellent color fastness, and is also one of the strongest natural fibers.

Here’s to starting the new year knowing your clothes are better for you, AND better for the Earth. 

4 responses to “Sustainable style: making the most of a compact wardrobe”

  1. Dinah says:

    Great post. I love garnet hill but never thought about their conscious effort towards the enviroment.

  2. Cindie K. Wilson says:

    As always, Whitney Lee Morris offers insights and incredibly beautiful choices to address the most pressing issues we face in our relationship to Mother Earth. Sustainability, simplicity, and natural beauty are the hallmarks of her work and lifestyle.

  3. Ja griffin says:

    Happy to learn more about one of my favorite companies to shop from, Garnet Hill. This article is both informative and thought provoking, plus most well written with beautiful examples in a well cared for environment. Well done.

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