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Dressed for Sustainability Success: A Capsule Wardrobe Project
In this activity, students create a capsule wardrobe that contains all of their apparel items - including shoes, athletic gear, and accessories - deemed necessary for the course of a semester, in order to reflect on their consumption needs and the forces that influence them.


By: Iva Jestratijevic (University of North Texas)

Session type: Multiple sessions, Undergraduate level, Small/Medium/Large size


  • Sustainable fashion

  • Experience based learning

  • Needs satisfaction

  • Personal consumption


Introduction to the teaching example:

Students begin the capsule wardrobe process by assessing their current wardrobe after talking about the causes and effects of personal fashion consumption, taking into account how many items they own and why. Then, they put together a "capsule wardrobe," or a small selection of clothes that they will actually need and wear throughout the exercise.

Students complete the course while only wearing the pieces from their capsule collection and nothing else from the rest of their wardrobe. As they work to alter their own personal fashion consumption practices, they keep a journal of their thoughts and discoveries. They specifically consider what motivates and hinders sustainable consumption on a personal level as well as in society at large. They also think about the factors that have constructed their consumption patterns and how those patterns correspond to their needs. Through learning about the environmental impacts of apparel items during various stages of use, students are supported in surpassing the obstacles to behavior change.

In the end, students make an effort to relate their personal experiences to more general problems and opportunities for sustainability in the garment sector in addition to reflecting on the process of implementing sustainable practices in their consumption patterns.

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