Currently Obsessed With: Sustainable Brands
Haul in reverse.
Thanks, Mari Kondo.
You guys. I Mari Kondoed my closet (along with half of America) this past January. I found so many things that sparked joy, but a lot of things didn’t make the cut. It was a little bit of a bummer to see all the things that had been sitting in my closet-some of them for years- without being worn.
And it didn’t help that I didn’t want to just go out and buy a bunch of new stuff to replace the clothes I donated.
See, I’ve been doing a lot of researching lately, and I’m trying to learn how to be a better person. I know, it’s a *big goal*. And learning about the environmental and social implications of my impulse buys made me want to change. I didn’t want to be a part of the reason why people were working long hours in dangerous conditions, for not even enough money to scrape by on. And my love of denim was actually contributing to pollution and usage of water that could have been given to people who need it to grow food. Of course, that can be almost impossible. But, a girl can try, right?
I’m not a minimalist, but I am trying to curate my ability to tell good quality in clothing so I can make better decisions. The way I see it, I may not be able to totally replace my wardrobe with organic cotton t-shirts and shoes made by small artisan-owned companies but I can try to make smarter decisions starting now.
Things we could all try to do:
Take better care of the things you own
This is a good reminder to hang-dry delicates and put away sweaters so the cat doesn’t accidentally snag them with her claws.
Invest in quality pieces
There’s something really comforting about clothes that become worn in and loved. Clothes that are made better tend to last longer, and they age better. Seams stay straight and they will look better on you because of it.
Learn what makes a quality piece. This can take time and research, but actually makes shopping so much easier. Understanding the fabric content can clue you in on how durable coat will be, or how comfortable your shoes will be after a long day at work.
Buy fewer new things
Aim for quality over quantity whenever you do head out shopping. It makes me so frustrated to spend so much time looking for the perfect shoes just to watch them fall apart after a few days.
Learn the brands and stores that have left you with poor quality clothes, and try to avoid them. As I’ve learned, they only bring pain.
Tip: Examine the cost and how much use you’ll reasonably get out of a piece to find the “cost per wear.” It sounds strange, but quality pieces could actually more affordable in the long run. For example, I could buy a great quality sweater for $150, but if I wear it 20 times, the cost per wear is $7.50 (because $150 divided by 20 is $7.50). If I buy one sweater for $20, but only get to wear it once before it deteriorates, warps, or develops a hole, I’m out $20 (and the cost per wear is $20).
Instead of hitting the mall, try your eye at vintage shops on Insta or Etsy. Vintage items create no new pollution (except for shipping), are better quality than fast fashion items, and *bonus* they keep you from wearing the same outfit as everyone else. Vintage clothes can vary in price, and you can often dress well for a reasonable price.
I think it’s important to know your budget and your values before you start making drastic changes to your closet. If something has been your favorite piece for years, I see no reason to get rid of it. For me, I keep going back to a simple denim shirt-style dress. Even though it’s fairly plain, I always feel great wearing it and I feel like it suits me well. What is your favorite item of clothing and how long have you had it?