It’s the new year, so time for some new fashion resolutions. How about using this simple process to rebuild your wardrobe into a sustainability powerhouse? We’ll bet you’ll have fun!
The fashion industry is the fourth-worst polluting industry in the world. From lack of regulations on health and safety in countries like China and Bangladesh to large carbon footprints and pollution. Things are starting to change, but there is a long road ahead, and the pandemic has slowed progress as the demand for cheap clothing grows.
What Can I Do?
We’re glad you asked! Create and maintain a sustainable and ethical wardrobe. You don’t have to start from scratch, you won’t have to spend a lot of money, and most importantly, you don’t have to changes your style – unless you think it’s time to do so! You will have to adopt some new habits.
The first step is to stop shopping. That’s right, take a break for a month, a season…pick a reasonable period. If you see something you like during this break, write it down. At the end of your break, see if you really still need or want it. Stop reading fashion blogs, catalogs, and ads. Find a new hobby to replace shopping as a way to fill time. This break will help you declutter your mind from the clutter and false needs created by big brands and advertising.
Tip: If you really need something, like a sweater for skiing, borrow it!
Second, work your closet! Try working front-to-back or left-to right. When picking an outfit, alwasy start at the front or right side. Then, put it away in the back or on the left side. Over time, things you haven’t worn will be front and center. If you just can’t wear something that’s moved to the front, it’s probably a sign you don’t really like it. Pull it out and put it in a donation pile. Not only will you enjoy clothes you’ve forgotten but you’ll end up keeping those you truly value.
Tip: This will help you refine your style, after all, it changes as your life experiences change!
Third, decide what’s important to you. While there may be many, pick one, find a retailer who shares that passion, and start with that. You can add more later on. Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Natural Materials
- Organic Cotton
- Locally made
- Fair Trade
- Recycled Fabrics
- Homemade Or Upcycled
- Made By An Emerging Artist/Desginer
Tip: Spend some time exploring brands you’ve never tried that meet these sustainable criteria.
The fourth step is to update your shopping list. Identify the core pieces you are missing that fit both your updated style and sustainable values. Now is the time to see of those things you wrote down during your shopping break are really still important to have.
Now, shop your closet and drawers. Be sure you don’t already have the items on your list!
Tip: Before you shop, turn the clothes you no longer want into cash. Hold a garage sale, take them to a second-hand or consignment store. Or, donate them for a tax write-off (check with your accountant first).
Last step: shop consciously.
You’ve pared down your closet, have a clear list, and even maybe cash in hand. Find the right stores to patronize, those that share your vision for sustainable fashion, and have fun. But, stick to your list.
Now that you’ve rebuilt your wardrobe with sustainability as the driver, rely on the eco-friendly cleaning processes at Flair Cleaners to keep it fresh for decades to come.