Menswear Gets Upcycled for a Lesson in Sustainable Style

menswear dress shirts photo

Photo credit: TRĂˆS BIEN SHOP/Creative Commons
This guest post was written by JD Norton, Community Engagement Manager for the eBay Green Team and contributor to

Eco-fashion makes up only seven percent of the retail business—and five of that is women's. To say it's a bit trying for men to dress stylishly and responsibly is quite the understatement. So, we took the liberty of sifting through the menswear shown in Paris, Milan and, most recently, New York, to extract the less-than-obvious—yet environmentally-friendly—sartorial themes. Between reviving styles of decades past and exemplifying how more really is less, the collections proved that everything does eventually come full-circle.

Bringing It Back

An overarching theme this season was the resurrection of styles and materials of years past. Gucci brought back the flared pant, so if you lived through the 70s and managed to hang on to a pair, it might be time to rouse them from the depths of your closet.

Army green pants were also revived this season, so if your old pair has a decent cut, wear 'em proud.

And remember that hand-me-down, washed leather briefcase your dad gave to you before your first job out of college? That, too, is ready for a comeback.

Finally, turtlenecks, corduroys and layers were a constant during all the shows this season. That drawer full of warm-weather clothes reserved for skiing and other wintry outdoor activities might just hold the key to your new look.

The More the Merrier?

mens vintage fashion photo
Photo credit: eBay Green

In Milan, reversible wool pea coats were all the rage. Fortunately, investing in a cool reversible jacket (of any kind) is smart for your wallet and the environment—you get two looks that require only half the manufacturing.

Another worthwhile eco-investment and our favorite trend of the season: vintage-style hats. Be it the fault of JFK or the advent of the car, hats almost completely disappeared from men's wardrobes in the last half of the century. But those hats are still around and making a comeback—leave it to the Hipsters to unearth the look from local thrift stores. The trend has now spread (talk about the influence of street style!), with nearly every designer sending hats—fedoras, trilbys, bowlers—down the runway. Take a peek in your own attic (or ours) and join in on this classic look.

Keep It Simple

mens vintage hats photo
Photo credit: eBay Green

Bottom line: You don't need to buy a new wardrobe every year, you just need a little creativity and some key pieces. Luckily, as it always is in men's fashion (and now more than ever) it's the little things that count. A focus on a few small details—think your grandfather's silk scarf, pocket-watch or vintage tie —will go far. You'll be amazed at how easy it is to pull a look together without spending a fortune on things you (and eventually the landfills) don't actually need.

This guest post was written by JD Norton, Community Engagement Manager for the eBay Green Team and contributor to The eBay Green Team welcomes your comments, so please visit us at and join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.
Read more about men's fashion:
Why Isn't There More Men's Eco-Fashion? An Unabashed Rant
Guys, A Green Fashion Blog Just for You (Suitable for Discreet Greenies, Too)
Could a Mainstream Fashion Trend Like Heritage Signal that Consumers are Sick of Fast Fashion?

Related Content on