Sustainable Style for a Sustainable Retirement

According to studies conducted in the last few years, a large number of Americans have become increasingly interested in living more sustainable lives.

Results of one survey conducted in 2020 showed that environmental awareness appears to grow with time and age – the older we get, the more we care about our environment. Sustainability is defined by a society’s ability to meet its own needs without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their needs. Practices such as recycling and reusing, utilizing renewable energy sources, reducing food waste, and supporting businesses that focus on greener policies and practices can all contribute to a greener, more sustainable future. Local business owner, Emily Petroff, is encouraging sustainable practices through her business, SWITCH Society.

SWITCH Society is a membership-based clothing swap that allows members to shop with points, not dollars, for more sustainable fashion choices. Emily joins us as a guest blogger to give YOU tips on how to incorporate sustainable fashion into your own lifestyle. It’s never too late to adopt sustainable practices, and your wardrobe is a great place to start!

When we remove the barrier of money and the way we participate with our clothing, everything changes

Linda Emily Petroff, kulr8 intervieW

Retirement often marks a shift in priorities, including a heightened awareness of the impact our choices have on the environment. As you embark on this new chapter in life, consider adopting a sustainable approach to your fashion choices. Sustainable style not only aligns with a more conscious way of living but also contributes positively to the planet. Here are some key aspects to explore as you embark on a journey of sustainable fashion during retirement.

Understanding Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable fashion prioritizes environmental and social responsibility throughout the entire production process. This includes using eco-friendly materials, ethical manufacturing practices, and promoting fair labor conditions. By choosing sustainable options, you contribute to a positive change in the fashion industry.

Exploring Secondhand and Thrift Shopping

One of the most effective ways to embrace sustainable fashion is by exploring secondhand and thrift shopping. “Thrifting” extends the lifecycle of clothing items, reducing the demand for new production and minimizing textile waste. Platforms like Switch Society facilitate clothing swaps, providing an avenue for sustainable fashion enthusiasts to refresh their wardrobes.

Quality over Quantity

Adopting a sustainable wardrobe involves a shift from fast fashion’s disposable mindset to one that values quality over quantity. Invest in timeless, well-made pieces that stand the test of time. A well-crafted garment not only lasts longer but also minimizes the need for frequent replacements.

Capsule Wardrobes for Versatility

Consider building a capsule wardrobe – a collection of versatile and timeless pieces that can be mixed and matched to create various outfits. Capsule wardrobes not only simplify your clothing choices but also encourage mindful consumption, ensuring that each item serves a purpose.

Educating Yourself on Fabrics

Sustainable fashion often revolves around choosing eco-friendly fabrics. Educate yourself on materials like organic cotton, bamboo, and Tencel, which have lower environmental impacts compared to conventional counterparts. Opting for these fabrics supports a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry.

Supporting Local and Ethical Brands

Explore local and ethical brands that prioritize sustainable practices. Supporting these businesses not only contributes to the local economy but also encourages the growth of a more responsible and environmentally conscious fashion market.

Participating in Clothing Swaps

Clothing swaps, such as those organized by Switch Society, provide a unique avenue for sustainable fashion enthusiasts to refresh their wardrobes. By swapping pre-loved items, you actively participate in a circular fashion economy, reducing the need for new production and minimizing your fashion footprint.

As you navigate the world of sustainable fashion during retirement, remember that each conscious choice contributes to a positive impact on the environment. By understanding sustainable fashion, exploring second-hand options, prioritizing quality over quantity, building a versatile capsule wardrobe, educating yourself on eco-friendly fabrics, supporting local and ethical brands, and participating in clothing swaps, you create a wardrobe that aligns with both your values and the planet’s well-being.

To explore sustainable fashion through clothing swaps and join a community that values both style and sustainability, visit Let your retirement be a celebration of conscious living through sustainable style.

One way that St. John’s United is promoting sustainability is through the Aeroponic Greenhouse in our Urban Horticulture Education Center. The greenhouse, which grows produce for the residents in our retirement communities, collects rainwater to supply water for the plants and has plans to install solar panels to one day function without any operating expenses. The practices implemented in our greenhouse save water by only using about 5% of the water used in conventional farming, reduce our carbon footprint, and save space by growing plants vertically. To learn more about this project, visit

Written by:
Emily Petroff, Founder and CEO
SWITCH Society


  1. NY Post
  2. KULR 8 News
  3. Greenmatch Co

Reference to any products, services, processes, hypertext links to third parties or other Data by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, supplier or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, sponsorship or recommendation by us or our licensors.

  • Posted on: March 14, 2024
  • Categories: Blog