How you approach building an ethical closet should resemble the process you already admire in this new-wave fashion revolution: make it slow and make it sustainable.
Start Building Your Slow & Sustainable Closet Now
Don’t let the grand idea of revamping your entire wardrobe, with ethically sourced materials, scare you off from ever starting! Slow and sustainable fashion is a lifestyle choice. And redoing your wardrobe can be an overwhelming undertaking.
Do you just throw out every piece of clothing you have?
How much of a fresh start do you need?
These are all valid questions.
And completely existential.
But fear not- we’ve got a step-by-step plan of attack to help you build an ethical closet, with budget-friendly tips and tricks for my conscious pals! Because slow fashion can take some time getting into... and they do call it slow fashion for a reason don’t they?!?
So feel free to ease your way into this…
Step 1. Do Not Just Throw Everything Away!
Don’t just find the nearest dumpster and get rid of your entire wardrobe like you’re going through a bad breakup! That’s going to have the opposite effect of what you’re going for. Throwing away your old unethically-produced garments is actually a highly irresponsible way to reduce your fast-fashion footprint.
Rather than adding to a landfill, ensure your current closet lasts you as long as it can. This helps you rip off the guilty tag you’ve metaphorically attached to all your clothing that still has a purpose- even if that purpose is only to help you avoid unnecessary shopping!
Step 2. Work With What You Already Have
Okay, so you didn’t just throw everything away! Fantastic. Now your mission is to actually FIND the ways in which your wardrobe can be multi-purposed.
Have an old pair of jeans that are too big? Instead of throwing them away, have a seamstress take them in to fit your new body shape. If it’s less about sizing, and more about variety, try and find ways to match a garment with several outfits.
That black skirt you love so much, but never wear, could actually go great with about half your wardrobe! So when date night rolls around, you don’t need a whole new attire… you just need some repurposed inspiration!
Step 3. Declutter and Donate
Don’t keep what you don’t need. Remember that fashion becomes slow and sustainable by eradicating the need for mass consumption. You don’t need a LOT; you need what is necessary. So sift through your closet. Anything you don’t feel the need to keep can be donated. By decluttering your closet, you are training yourself to redesign your life with a minimalist mentality. And minimalism is the gateway to eradicating mass-everything if you ask us!
TIP: “Don’t forget that what comes around, goes around. If you let it!”
Step 4. Thrift
By having a garage sale, or dropping off your old clothes at a salvation army, you’re allowing others to turn your trash into their treasure! So why can’t the same be said for you? Sure, somebody bought that cute t-shirt at the mall… but they’re not wearing it anymore. Why not buy it for a couple bucks and make sure someone’s really gotten all the value they can out of it? Make that someone you! Extending the shelf life of a vintage t-shirt is the epitome of sustainability.
Step 5. Buy Better: Research Your Clothing Companies
There will come a day when it is actually time to buy some new clothing. And to that I say- be not afraid of shopping, but of the products you might find! When we start to train ourselves to value quality over quantity, building an ethically sustainable closet becomes easier than ever. Buying clothes was never really the issue. The problem is from whom we are buying it.
It is up to you to be informed.
Research which companies are transparent with their supply chains, which are actively adhering to slow fashion practices, and which are happily negligent in their contributions to a fast-fashion world. You still have responsibility over the power of your dollar. Choose wisely.
“Clothes aren’t going to change the world; the women who wear them will.” -Anne Klein, American fashion designer
Transforming Your Closet is a Slow & Sustainable Home Project
Remember, old clothing is ethical clothing. And you do play a part in the slow fashion system. HOW you upcycle, reuse clothing, and take care of the pieces you own is integral to ensuring your wardrobe lasts for years, rather than seasons.
But if adding to an ethical closet, for you, can mean nothing but the difference between which online shopping cart you buy from, why wouldn’t you pick the slow and sustainable option?
We can help you make the switch to a slow and sustainable fashion lifestyle by getting you inspired. Take a look at our Pokoloko collection of ethical apparel and home here.
Your slow fashion closet awaits…