Being sustainable means something different to everyone. It’s interpreted subjectively by anyone who thinks about it enough to want to do their part and be a more conscious consumer in general. There are quite a few ways to do this, and in this blog post we'll focus on your wardrobe.
Maybe you’ve been thinking about cleaning out your closet for a while, or maybe you were inspired by the title of this blog post - in that case we couldn't be happier!
The first thing we want to tell you is this: IT'S NOT GOING TO BE HORRIBLE! (I actually found it liberating!) Also we really want to emphasize, that no matter how big or small the changes you make may be, it’s all contributing to minimize the environmental consequences of fast fashion and hopefully change the fashion industry over time to become more sustainable.
Most fashionistas have a hard time letting go, when it comes to pieces in their closet, that they either associate with a special night or occasion - or simply because they don’t want to be throwing out something that might be of use later on.
The reality is you shouldn’t have to constantle feel the need to clean out or make space in your closet. Your closet should only consist of pieces that you actually wear.
This brings us to step one: the clean out.
When starting the clean out, you might want to make sure, that you don’t have any plans for the next hour or two (read: six) as this may take a while. At least it did for me. But that all depends on how much stuff you have tucked away in there.
I had a deep need to hold every item in my hand before making a decision and had many Carrie Bradshaw moments before it surprisingly quickly became easier, when asking myself with every shirt or skirt, if I actually use it on a regular basis. If yes; it stays, if no; I’ll donate it to charity.
Red cross store in Denmark.
Once the clean out is done you can continue to step two: take stock.
Stock is a big thing in the sustainable world. Make sure you know exactly what you own, to avoid buying something you already have, or something you won’t even use further on. Personally I made my own list with clear, clean lines on what I have, separated into 5 categories:
Within every category I described the color, season(s) (Note: In terms of changing temperatures and NOT in terms of the fashion week seasonal trends), fit, with/without belt etc. - whatever describes the item best. I.e. under pants I wrote “green pants, spring/summer/fall, belt attached” or “Jeans/denim, light blue, mom-fit, ankle length”. I did this with every single piece in my wardrobe and by that created a complete stock list of everything I own.
I’m not going to share a photo with you of my stock list, because I really want to encourage you to make your own, to ensure that it makes sense to you - and to make sure, that you’ll actually use it in the future because you spend time putting everything in your kind of order.
By now you might be dreading me telling you, how you can only keep 3 pairs of pants and 1 dress, but fear not! That is not something I would ever tell someone with a passion for fashion to do! How many of each “type” of clothing, you choose to keep, is completely up to you. I know first hand how two similar pairs of pants (similar in other peoples eyes, not mine) in two different colors can feel like completely different pairs of pants.
Lastly I have to say, that this honestly has helped me so much - I’m quite shocked myself. I have the whole stock list on my phone and every time I think about buying yet another white t-shirt or blue jeans, it’s so easy to check if I already have something similar and therefore might not need more. Or maybe I totally DO need it, and that is also what this list is for! Figuring out what you REALLY want and need.
And if that’s not enough, let me just tell you... I’m saving so much money. I mean... I can actually buy something expensive now without feeling guilty!
And I think it’s fair to say, that if there’s anything any fashionista wants, it’s to feel like it’s TOTALLY ok to buy something new, and this has been a big thing for me. I never feel bad anymore when buying something, because I know that I’m going to use it, and on top of that; now I’ll rather buy something either vintage, unique and/or a bit more expensive, since I’m not buying stuff on the regular anymore.
For me it has been amazing. I feel like I’m actually thinking about the environment, instead of just saying that I am and really not showing it in my actions. Which I will be the first to admit, that I was guilty of for a long time.
So to my fellow fashionistas and sustainable soldiers, I really hope you can find some use in this!