The fashion industry, as mentioned in my last article, is a very polluting industry, which encourages overconsumption and offers very poor human conditions. To counter this phenomenon, we must start by making changes in our personal consumption of clothing.
First, it is important to start by taking a look at our wardrobe, see the number of items we have, what we really like, and what we wear according to our lifestyle. By doing this, we can understand our style and tend towards a more minimalist wardrobe with only items we really like. When you only have a few quality items that work well together, and in which you feel really good, it becomes much easier to get dressed in the morning; no more mornings spent losing 20 minutes on choosing what to wear. You will also stop always feeling like you’re missing clothing pieces and wanting to buy new clothes.
Secondly, it is important to reduce your purchases to what you really need. Buying a piece because it is trendy is not a good idea: it will probably come from a “fast fashion” store, be poor quality and you will probably get tired of it quickly. You have to buy less, but also, make better choices. There are a few steps to take before going to the store to buy a new item:
1- Use what you already own
Before going to get an item, take a look at your wardrobe to see if there is a hidden gem.
2- Repair or transform
It is easy, especially for those who know how to sew, to transform clothes into new ones. A pair of jeans turned into shorts for the summer, adding lace to a sweater to make it more to your taste or an old t-shirt cut into pieces to make linens to clean the house. It is also easy to repair a button on a shirt, to avoid throwing it away.
Are you attending a wedding? Instead of buying a dress that will be left in your wardrobe for a long time, why not borrow or rent it? There are now companies like Station Service that allows you to rent clothes for special occasions, or for every day wear.
Have you ever heard of a Swap Party? Organize an evening with friends where each of you bring clothes and accessories that you do not wear anymore to exchange during the evening. This allows you to get new clothes at no cost, and to avoid keeping clothes that you do not wear anymore.
5- Buy second hand
Whether in charity shops like Renaissance, in garage sales or on Facebook’s MarketPlace, it is possible to find amazing thrifted items. Buying a used garment increases its lifetime and diminishes the number of clothes that are sent to landfills.
6- Buy consciously
When you are at the last step, and you still need a new piece, it is quite possible to buy a conscious item. As author Anna Lappé says, “Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the kind of world you want”. It is important to buy from local and ethical businesses; I am no longer buying garments made in China by children! Then, opt for a quality garment that you will wear over and over again, for several years. If possible, also look for ecofriendly fabrics. The production of organic cotton requires 91% less water than regular cotton.
Plus, when you have clothes that you really like, and that are more expensive, make sure you take care of your garments. For example, it is not necessary to washa piece every time you wear it, if the garment does not smell and is not stained. You can wear a bra three or four times before washing it. In addition, opting for air-drying allows us to reduce our electricity costs, but also our emission of greenhouse gases.
That being said, it is possible to have a minimalist, ecofriendly and ethical wardrobe. I will showcase conscious companies to discover in my next article of this series!