TreeHugger, the granddaddy of environmental blogs, needs no introduction. And neither does Meaghan O’Neill, the site’s capable helmsman, who likens blogs to the the town criers of yore. O’Neill admits to not being a big shopper, although she does like having stylish things. “When I buy stuff I ask myself how long this will last,” she tells Ecouterre. “Do I love it? And does it fit and drape well? I’m not afraid to spend a little more money on something if I know it will last for ages.” Below, O’Neill picks out her favorite pieces from her eco-closet, as well as explains why clothing doesn’t have to be organic to be sustainable.

Some of the staples in my closet would never be touted as “green fashion” per se, but considering they are five, 10, 20, and even 40-plus years old, I definitely consider them part of my sustainable wardrobe. Doing more with less, understanding how to whip do-anything basics into fabulous outfits, being unafraid to mix and match, and understanding the difference between personal style and passing trends is essential.

The biggest impact from our wardrobes comes from washing and drying, not manufacture or transport.

I also raid my own closet (and Mom’s and Grandma’s, too) and share clothes with friends and my sister for instant (and free!) updated looks. Another important thing to remember is that caring for our clothes—that is, washing and drying them—is the biggest impact from our wardrobes, not manufacture or transport. So washing with cold water, using eco-friendly detergents, and line-drying when possible will significantly reduce the carbon-footprint of you closet.

Meaghan O'Neill's closet

I think hemp-silk is one of the best green materials out there—it’s super durable yet still pretty. This blouse from Habitude is embellished with a vintage brooch that was my grandmother’s.

Meaghan O'Neill's closet

Me, in my office, wearing Stewart + Brown cashmere hoodie and organic cotton henley tee. I am a sucker for Stewart + Brown cashmere—it’s super soft and lasts forever. The vintage velour fedora belonged to my grandfather.

Meaghan O'Neill's closet

Our house had this weird tiny room in the front of the second floor, so a friend built us a walk-in closet out of sustainably forested Lyptus. The babydoll dress at left is by Linda Loudermilk. I love how the denim is simple but refined, with detailed tucking—it’s modern but classic and easy to dress up or down.

Meaghan O'Neill's closet

These are vintage Gucci loafers— hand-me-downs from my mom from the ’80s! If you buy good shoes, you can just get them resoled again and again (and again); they cost more, but they’re a better value in the long run.

Meaghan O'Neill's closet

Another piece from my mom—she wore it during college in the ’60s! She calls it her “Doctor Zhivago” coat. I’ve had to have the trim re-sewn a couple of times, but it’s still in excellent shape.

Meaghan O'Neill's closet

A vintage fedora. I’m always embellishing with found-objects; I picked these fall wildflowers on a walk with my son and husband.

Meaghan O'Neill's closet

More vintage—are you sensing a theme here? All of these necklaces were once my grandmothers and they are old. The gold ones I wear nonstop; the beads, in a happy coincidence, are currently in style. The Buddha necklace is by Alkemie, which works with recycled metals. The earrings are current faves: I bought them from a local artist in New Orleans who makes them from old watch gears.

Meaghan O'Neill's closet

Stuff in my closet. Since I work from home, my typical uniform includes jeans, a cashmere sweater or cotton hoodie, and organic cotton tees. I like lots of color, so I buy basics in neutral colors and let things like tees and bracelets deliver the pop. I buy conventional jeans (I like Gap)—about one new pair every four years—and get them tailored if I get tired of the style. I don’t wear conventional perfume, but I love the glamour of the old bottles.

+ TreeHugger