I was thirteen when I stopped eating meat. My parents, on a road trip, had driven past a slaughterhouse. I’d caught a whiff of a terrible smell, and even worse, a peek at a butchering session. Since then I’ve maintained a sustainable diet. And while sustainability in food is trendy, people are looking to expand it to other aspects of daily life. Primarily, this includes fashion.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve spent ample time revamping my closet into something more eco-friendly. Though the fashion industry is quickly welcoming change, the issue of wasteful consumers remains.
Since going on a wardrobe cleanse, I’ve picked up on a couple of tips that have helped me achieve a perfectly green closet.
The key to a hard fashion reset is segregating your closet. Know what no longer suits you and what still rocks your style. Take a few days to contemplate whether you are willing to keep certain pieces or not. If you aren’t, donate or sell them. Whatever you do, don’t toss them. Someone might be into what you no longer are. If you are unsure, borrow grandma’s sewing machine and repair whatever pieces you think you can save. You never know when a garment just needs a little tweak.
Inevitably, getting rid of clothes occasionally means you’ll run short of them. If it’s a case that calls for some retail therapy, shop wisely. Think about what you value in a piece of clothing. Surely, going “green” means you aren’t looking to wear a dead animal, but are you also banning animal byproducts? Where you shop is also something to consider, as buying garments made locally is often more beneficial for a community.
Of course, going on the hunt for a brand new wardrobe is more exciting than anyone gives it credit for. So be sure to do your research for a clearer picture of what you might be truly interested in. Many affordable brands such as H&M are becoming more sustainable (check out their Conscious Collection!). See if your principles align with what certain brands are selling.
More importantly, make a list. Lists are tedious, but they are your friend. Be specific. Purchase only what is on your list. Don’t over shop! Pick out what you can mix and match. You can never expect when you’ll get carried away on a shopping spree.
Hitting the mall isn’t the last of your worries because, trust me, you will always have the urge to shop. So refine your style not according to what is currently in, but what you will feel most comfortable in. Magazines may be outdated in this day and age, but go through them if you must. After all, the new generation seems pretty keen on reviving trends we thought were a thing of the past (hello bell-bottoms).
Give your closet personality. If you grow tired of something, at least you’ll have other things to fall back on. If you’re not quite that adventurous, go for a timeless wardrobe. It may require a bit more effort, but it’ll be worth the time spent and money saved.
While eco-conscious brands are now getting the traction they deserve, you, as a consumer, could be their ultimate key to success.