Building an ethical wardrobe does not start with getting rid of everything you already own.
We should stop decluttering our wardrobe entirely just because we’ve learned about sustainable fashion.
There are many other ways we can build a more ethical closet over time. If we would start throwing everything away in order to replace it with ethical options we would just further increase the systemic problem – which is the demand and wasteful purchase.
My wardrobe is quite small – I follow the capsule wardrobe model and I only have around 45 pieces in total. They are all great quality and durable items and this is what makes fashion and my day to day choices so easy for me. I love all of my clothes. There isn’t a single item in there which doesn’t have a place in my life. Some I love more than others, but they all have a function.
My closet doesn’t just contain ethical clothes from ethical brands though. What I’m trying to do is incorporate the how I call it “ethical shift” when it comes to my shopping habits. I learn and read each day about sustainable fashion because it genuinely interests me, but this doesn’t mean that I will throw away my existing cotton t-shirts and well-loved mom jeans from high street giants as they are perfectly wearable. I feel good in them. There are other ways we can contribute to an ethical closet. I thought I’d share some tips and brands with you in case you’d like to learn more about ethical fashion and transparent sourcing just like myself.
Brands with a mission I’ve recently discovered and like:
WORON (Instagram: @woron) – Sustainable lingerie brand based in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Mate The Label (Instagram: @mate_the_label) Mate the Label is a clean ethical brand based in Los Angele. They are committed to using non-toxic and natural materials and they have a good selection of basics.
Know The Origin (Instagram: @knowtheorigin) – You can discover some really cool ethical brands via this website. They have a lovely range of products available and they are very transparent about sourcing and helping customers understand where and who they are buying from.
The Slow Label (Instagram: @theslowlabel) – Fair fashion and sustainable clothing company from Austria. I have discovered this brand via its founder whom I have been following on Youtube for a couple of years now.
Circlle (Instagram: @circlle.cz) – Beautiful activewear brand from the Czech Republic, definitely worth checking out.
Good On You (@goodonyou_app)
- There are some popular ethical choices out there who gained significant attention lately but let’s not just stop there, discover smaller brands and expand our scope even further
- Go for clothes that are durable and good quality, this will save you from having to spend more on the long run. This seems like a very simple advice yet a lifechanging one
- Learn about your style and learn about the materials. Understand what makes you comfortable and what isn’t. Clothes are there to make you feel good about yourself. If the cut or size isn’t right — well, there is a change that they won’t.
- Shop less and choose better – My favourite piece of advice probably.
- Own your Style. Don’t fall for seasonal fashion trends. It is difficult to keep up these days but the thing is: you don’t have to keep up. Pick styles that compliment you and your personality.
- Never throw away existing items just for the sake of it – Fix your clothes if you can and do not let “perfectionism” spoil your ethical journey and be your enemy.
- Discover vintage and second hand – Although a lot of items you will find in vintage or second hand stores will be from fast fashion companies, this way you are not directly supporting the company. Instead you give those clothes a second chance without letting them end up at landfill.
- Value your clothes and take good care of them – This topic needs a lot more attention and I’d like to write a separate article on how to care for your garments as if you do it right, you can really make a difference and elevate your look whilst wearing your older clothes.
- Always consider who made your clothes – Personally, I have completely stopped supporting high street companies that have been heavily involved in either child labour or sweatshop scandals. Do your research online and find an ethical alternative with similar price point.
- Choose fit over size – Choose the right fit your your body type and do not make a purchase based on your recommended or desired size. Size doesn’t matter, I have all sorts of sizes in my wardrobe from XS-M because they all fit differently and perfectly in their own way.
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