Jessica Cobabe is a sustainable style expert and the co-founder of Cobabe Creative, a Utah based creative agency. She strives to bring her audience solutions to live a more sustainable life without sacrificing style via resources like her newsletter, The Little Green Book and her lifestyle blog jessicacobabe.com.
We've Made Sustainable Style Simple. An Interview with Jessica Cobabe.
The topic of sustainable style can often feel overwhelming, but we’re here to make it easy to dress more consciously. For us, it comes down to the equation: thoughtful shopping = sustainable fashion. Asking certain questions when refreshing our wardrobes lends itself to more thoughtful shopping: “Do I need it?” “Do I already have this?” “How many times will I wear it?” These are just some of the questions to think about on our journey to making more eco-friendly fashion choices.
For more great tips, we recently asked content creator and sustainable style expert, Jessica Cobabe, to chat with us about her practical advice on shopping smarter while still reflecting your personal style.
What does having a sustainable wardrobe mean to you?
Short answer: A highly curated wardrobe that is sourced with people and the planet in mind. Long answer: In my opinion, each sustainable wardrobe will look a little different. Not only do we each have our own personal style that will influence the way we dress, we also have other factors to consider such as personal belief systems, financial backgrounds and geography. Some sustainable wardrobes are thrifted, some are filled with brands like SPELL or Reformation, others might be filled with fast fashion items that are slowly being replaced with higher-quality, eco-friendly basics.
It isn’t as simple as someone throwing out all of their clothing from fast fashion brands and replacing them with fair trade garments, because that would just be creating more unnecessary waste. It’s more of a mindset – an enlightened and conscious perspective that accounts, not just for one’s own needs and desires when shopping, but the needs of others and our planet. In a sense, a sustainable wardrobe is one filled with iconic items that someone loves, wears, repairs and upcycles as much as they would their first baby blanket!
How do you keep your wardrobe fresh and fashionable without always buying new? Are there any specific ways you plan to refresh for the new year?
One of the cool things about trends is that they are constantly repeating themselves so you can almost always find the latest trends secondhand! Whenever I am not sure about a new trend, I often like to thrift it first to see how it feels on me. That way I don’t spend a ton of money buying new clothes I am never going to wear.
One hot little tip I learned from my mama is to always invest in a solid wardrobe of basics, that way you can add fun trend pieces to your look and you aren’t constantly having to revamp your wardrobe because the foundation of your wardrobe is filled with timeless *quality* pieces that never go out of style. This season, I am updating my wardrobe with a few pieces I have been loving lately – berets and scarves. I live in Utah and it gets super cold so these are a great staple to add to my wardrobe that I can wear for years to come!
What are 5 tips / rules you use to update your closet for a new year or new season?
Tip #1: Trendspotting 101
Browse through the latest fashion trends and start making note of what trends you are excited about, which ones you already own and which ones you would like to try. If none of them excite you, skip ‘em and stick to your signature look.
Tip #2: Make a Moodboard or Lookbook
Take all the looks and trends you love for the season and pin them on a physical moodboard or go the digital route and use Pinterest. I personally have both. I am old school and still have all of my lookbooks from highschool on, but I also love having a digital (searchable) moodboard as well.
Tip #3: Looks, Deconstructed
Now it’s time to study the looks you love. Take each one and break it apart into a list of items. This will essentially be your shopping list to create the capsule wardrobe you want for the coming season.
Tip #4: Remix and Revamp
Shop your closet first! Take your list and compare it to your wardrobe and see what items you already own that meet the current trends you want to wear that season. Are there any pieces you own that could be upcycled to get the look (ie. tie-dye, distressing, bedazzling, etc.)?
Tip #5: Head to the Thrift Shop
I love secondhand stores because chances are you will find pieces to add to your wardrobe that no one else will have, so you’ll look and feel truly unique. Anything I can’t find secondhand, I will source via a sustainable option! Check out my Little Green Book for resources.
Since we’re a pajama company, we have to ask you some rapid fire questions about your sleepwear preferences and nighttime routines! Let’s start with pajamas.
Matching sets or mix and match? Both! It totally depends on my mood that day.
Slippers: Yes or no? Always. My baby girl is learning to feed herself, so our kitchen floor is always full of landmines! I am personally eyeing the Printfresh Bagheera Tufted Slippers in Midnight (hint, hint honey lol)!
What’s always on your bedside table? The Five Minute Journal. I am really working on crafting a morning and night routine that works well with my life and schedule, which is ever evolving. I like the simplicity of The Five Minute Journal and that it has prompts for both morning and evening. It also isn’t dated so if you miss a day you aren’t wasting precious space!
Night owl or Early rise? Night owl that is slowly adjusting to become an early-ish riser thanks to my 18 month old daughter Zoë. One of the benefits of creating my own work schedule is allowing my body to get the rest it needs.
What’s your favorite breakfast in bed? If I’m in a savory mood, eggs benedict with a side of hashbrowns, OJ and a pot of coffee. If I am craving something sweet - waffles with cream and fresh berries, bacon, orange juice, and a pot of coffee. If I’m being healthy - an acai bowl or fruit and yogurt parfait and a dirty chai with a cute design.
Are you excited to add new twists to your current wardrobe in the new year? Feeling inspired to go thrifting to find special and unique additions to your style? Share your sustainable fashion advice in the comments below.
PF MAG: Founder Amy Voloshin is passionate about creating a space that speaks to our brand, shares unique perspectives from pattern enthusiasts and finds ways to promote more sustainable living. Our blog PF Mag covers creative topics on all things lifestyle - including behind the scenes looks, fashion, design, travel, and home decor, as well as interviews with some of the people who inspire us most.