Small steps x consistency = big impact. With my aim of wanting to live more consciously, I had to have a good look in my wardrobe too and simplify it in a meaningful way – where I can. Fast fashion is part of our life (it is still undoubtably part of mine) but the decision is ours: It is up to us to decide whether we are ready to embark on the slow fashion path, but more importantly how are we going to do that. It is important to determine your own priorities first and then implement the changes representing the values you believe in. Distancing yourself from fast fashion is a step towards greater social and economical integrity. A large number of existing clothing companies worldwide are transforming their business models and improving their processes to reduce impact, however we must not forget about the people and the social conditions in factories too – which still leaves significant gaps in some places. Sustainable fashion concerns more than addressing materials or products. If you need some guidance on where to start, visit the website Good On You which will tell you exactly how ethical and fair brands are by rating them in 3 different categories: Planet, People and Animals. It helps me to understand where I stand and what brands should do better to improve their footprint within these areas. Some well-known brands have already introduced conscious ranges, offering organic products that use less chemicals and water – however their regular business model has not changed just yet.
My wardrobe has less than 40 items in it, excluding my shoes. It is the perfect amount for me. I have a well designed and functional capsule wardrobe with a healthy mindset, however I still have a long way to go when it comes to slow fashion and sustainable product swaps. I appreciate the journey and I am taking small steps towards my vision each day – with each decision I make. Limiting your clothing items is not the only way you can support sustainable fashion. Giving your old or unwanted items new purpose is just as important as limiting purchases – as eventually your old items would be ending up at landfill too. Re-invent them, re-sell them or donate them. Start your big clear out by asking yourself the following questions:
How often do you wear an item? – Do not hold onto things if you don’t wear them regularly. If you have items in your wardrobe which you haven’t worn during an entire season, they must go. Keep only the items you are love wearing and re-purpose the others by either giving them new meaning or dropping them off at the charity shop. Besides charity, I use Depop and Vinted for finding new owners to my unwanted pieces.
Do I have the basics? – Streamline your wardobe by getting the basic items which will create the foundation of your minimalist wardrobe. Incorporate a handful of staples you can wear for any and every occasion. (examples: black body, beige paper bag trousers, white tee, a pair of slim mom jeans, black heels, tailored beige blazer, beige turtleneck, black maxi dress, silk scarf)
Do they fit me? – Most of us make the biggest mistake here. In my case the majority of clothes I let go of were due to them not fitting my body shape properly. Do not stick to the sizing on the tag and always try on the items first prior to buying them. Understand what makes you comfortable and what doesn’t. I personally only wear high waisted jeans because they are comfortable and they compliment my hourglass shape. I don’t purchase t-shirt bras because the fit is not my preferred choice – I love balconette bras because you can wear them multiple ways (always a plus!) and they sit nicely under any garment. Wearing clothes that are true to your size and fit you beautifully will elevate your overall look and make you look a lot more put together and effortless. But what is even more important is the way you feel in your clothes.
Do they represent my personality? – I find my collection unique and they are all sending message. I choose the colours carefully and the materials responsibly. The mixture of these details are representing my personality. Fill your wardrobe with pieces that are timeless and making you feel true to yourself wearing them.
What are they made of? – Along with cutting out single use items and plastic from your daily life, You can also start being conscious by avoiding and stop purchasing certain materials (100% polyester and nylon) You can’t always hide away from them, but you can slowly move away from them. Discover fabrics that represent a milestone in the development of environmentally friendly textiles – Try purchasing a linen shirt instead of convential cotton because it is low-impact and does not require any pesticides upon the process. It is a type of natural fibre which makes it one of the most sustainable materials. It is light, airy and kind to your skin. Read and research more about lyocell blend items and experiment with hemp or organic cotton. It is difficult to categorise all fabrics and develop a real understanding behind all the procedures when it comes to sustainable fashion choices, therefore I’d recommend for you to gear yourself up with some extra knowledge around the most and least sustainable fabrics to look out for on clothing labels and understand the impact and whys first.
My conscious wardrobe tips:
1. Accept the time it will take to build up similar trust with the new and more ethical brands and get comfortable with that they have to offer both style and investment-wise.
2. Always check the label.
3. Aim for 50 pieces.
4. Think about outfits, not items.
5. Care for your garments: Always treat them nicely by learning how to care for them the right way.
6. Know your hangers. Wood hangers: They are more durable than the metal hangers. Velvet hangers: They prevent unwanted creases or wrinkles in your clothes. Steel hangers: Sleek, slim and long lasting.
7. Transition slowly. You do not need to throw out everything during the big clear out and start from scratch.
9. Spend more and save more on the long run.