Issue 22 Feature: The Sustainable Stylist

Kim Kneipp

We live in a society that’s relentlessly bombarded with seasonal trends and a culture obsessed with having ‘more, more, more’, so achieving (and maintaining) a sustainable wardrobe can be a daunting task. But in the latest issue of Peppermint we featured an individual who specialises in making the sartorial old feel new again – for herself and her many varied clients – through her work as The Sustainable Stylist. As Kim Kneipp explains in our ‘A Stitch in Time’ feature: “We live in an era where there is almost no justification for making something new. At the very least, upcycling an existing product should be what companies do. Whether it is clothing or the furnishing of an interior, my goal is always to recycle. My day to day is often about giving new life to these materials ‘at hand’ – creating new style combinations from a client’s existing wardrobe, rearranging items in an interior space, sourcing garments and objects at local and second hand stores, and documenting the process so the person is then empowered to maintain the aesthetic themselves.” Read on for Kim’s top tips for keeping a wardrobe that works for you without negatively impacting the planet…

kim kneipp studio

The storage and order of your wardrobe is the fundamental first step in creating a cohesive, sustainable style. Throw out old wire coat hangers and bring order to your closet. Find a system that works for you.

If you hate folding, find a way to hang more garments. Use small baskets within big shelves and drawers. Group all similar garment typographies together (skirts with skirts, etc.) and organise according to colour. If you can easily find your garments you won’t believe you have ‘nothing to wear’. 

Separate the sentimental, never-worn garments away from those you actually wear. Categorise these further into sentimental keepsakes that can go out of prime space and away into storage and those garments that have potential to be absorbed into your current style.
Identify the garments in your ‘active’ wardrobe that always make you feel good and garner the greatest compliments. Use these as your signature style pieces upon which you can build and complement the rest of your wardrobe. Invest in one new, locally made garment each season.
Repair all faulty garments. Take them to a professional who will do them quickly and cost effectively and then learn some basic sewing skills to keep them in good shape.
Invest in a full-length mirror. If you can’t see your whole body you can’t create a cohesive style.

Read more about Kim and her personal sustainable style journey in our latest Winter Issue 22!

Images by Olga Bennett for Peppermint Magazine.