Sustainable Fall Fashion Ideas for 2021

Fall fashion ideas and inspiration, but make it sustainable.

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Fall, the indisputable best fashion season of the year, is finally here! Looking for some sustainable fall fashion ideas and inspiration? Get ready, it’s time to break out the booties, flannel and pumpkin spice.

Or is it?

Listen, I love a good flannel as much as the next basic B, but I also wanted to share some creative sustainable fall fashion ideas that are a little outside the box.

I don’t know about you, but I get a little bored with the same looks year after year. Hopefully this blog post will inspire you to try something new!

This post is all about sustainable fall fashion.

Sustainable Fall Fashion Inspiration

These looks call on current 2021 fashion trends and inspiration from academia, the ’90s and yes, even some fall classics.

I also prioritized looks that transition well from summer to fall, pieces that can be worn multiple different ways (yes, rewearing is ultimate sustainability!), and LAYERS.

(Fall is all about layers to me, as you never know what freakin’ temperature it’s going to be.)

What is Sustainable Fall Fashion?

Below I’ve included pieces I have rented from clothing rental services Nuuly and Rent the Runway. Renting can be a more sustainable option as it slows production and keeps clothes out of landfills. Plus, you can go for the statement piece without the commitment!

I’ve also shared brands that have made some commitment to sustainability, although none are perfect and all fall along a spectrum. I’ve included some bigger brands as well as smaller indie designers.

Let’s get started!

1. Sustainable Fall Outfit: Babydoll Dress + Boots + Baseball Hat

I’m obsessed with this gingham babydoll dress by Tach Clothing, which is a smaller brand started by two sisters and whose pieces are ethically handmade with love in their native Uruguay.

It’s a perfect transition dress from summer to fall, because it’s lightweight enough to be worn alone on a hot day (I wore this dress to multiple baby showers this summer) but can also be paired with high black leather boots and tights for chillier days.

Here I’ve paired the gingham dress with faux leather boots and a baseball hat for a laidback vibe on a warmer fall day.

Get the Look:

You can rent the Tach Clothing gingham babydoll dress on Nuuly or buy it on their site here.

2. Sustainable Fall Fashion: Plaid Coat + Wide-Leg Jeans

This plaid coat from sustainable brand M.i.h. Jeans made me feel like a professor in the ’70s strolling the campus between lectures in a very good way.

(M.i.h. Jeans is, you guess it, a denim company that is focused on responsible sourcing and manufacturing. They happen to also make a damn fine wool coat!)

The coat is a wool blend made from 75% wool, so it is sure to keep you warm on chillier fall days. Wear it over a plain white or fun vintage tee.

Pair the ’70s academia feel of the coat with light-wash wide-leg jeans. This pair from Zara that I thrifted from Poshmark have rips at the knees, which modernizes the look a little bit.

Get the Look:

You can rent the Plaid Ryley Coat from Rent the Runway.

3. Sustainable Fall Fashion Outfit: Plaid Shirt Dress

More plaid?! Listen, I did warn you I was a basic fall girl at heart.

This plaid jacquard shirt dress from Zero + Maria Cornejo features a high collar and curved long sleeves. Secret side slits give an otherwise modest dress a bit of an edge.

I think this dress would also look amazing with a statement black belt at the waist.

This dress is made with completely natural materials: 70% wool and 28% cotton to be exact. Be careful though, wool is warm but it can feel a bit scratchy! I might wear a cotton turtleneck under this dress, especially on colder days.

Zero + Maria Cornejo as a brand are committed to responsible design and manufacturing, designing and producing all their clothing locally in New York. They also make a point to use up-cycled and eco-friendly textiles.

Get the Look:

You can rent the Camisa Dress by Zero + Maria Cornejo from Rent the Runway.

4. Sustainable Fall Fashion: Gingham Wool Suit

Mara Hoffman is one of my favorite designers, ya’ll. Not only does she prioritize natural, sustainable, and often organic textiles, she also produces some of the most bold and joy-inducing clothing on the runway right now.

Speaking of bold, how about trying a completely matching wool gingham set this fall?

I tried this with nothing underneath on top, but to tone down the matchy-ness you could wear with a statement vintage tee.

Blazer is made with 100$ boiled wool, while the bottoms are 100% organic cotton.

Get the Look:

You can rent Mara Hoffman designs on Rent the Runway. Rent the Tatum Blazer here and the Gingham Dita Pants here.

5. Sustainable Fall Fashion Outfit: Plaid Duster + Tee Shirt + Knit Skirt

Remember that Zero + Maria Cornejo dress from earlier? Here it is again, completely unbuttoned and worn as a duster!

That is a major reason I love the brand Zero + Maria Cornejo, a lot of their pieces are designed with versatility in mind.

We love versatility because it’s fall and the weather is constantly changing, but we also love it for sustainability reasons. If you can wear a piece a multitude of different ways, you are much more likely to rewear and not get bored.

And you know what the most sustainable clothing option always is? Answer: what you already have in your closet!

Get the Look:

You can rent the Camisa Dress by Zero + Maria Cornejo from Rent the Runway.

Interested in Renting Sustainable Fashion?

Has this sustainable fall fashion roundup piqued your interest in a clothing rental subscription like Rent the Runway or Nuuly?

If so, you are in the right place! I love and use both, for different reasons. To find out which subscription might be better for you read my reviews here and here.

Try Rent the Runway

If you use my Rent the Runway link (right here) you’ll get $30 off your first month. (I’ll get $30 off too so it’s a win-win!)

Try Nuuly

Interested in trying out Nuuly? If you use my link (right here) you’ll get $10 off your first month. (I’ll get $10 off too so it’s a win-win!)

This post is was about sustainable fall fashion.

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I created PunkMed to write about my passions—health, sustainability, and the outdoors.


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