4 Reasons to Convert Your Wardrobe to Minimalism
As I write this post, believe me when I say that I'm preaching to myself as well. I've grown up mostly purchasing and wearing fast fashion, not knowing what impact it had on Mother Earth and workers at garment factories overseas. I realized that I was partaking in the endless cycle of throwing away and buying clothing that would quickly fade and wear out. I was also getting tired of having a significant percentage of my wardrobe sit idly in my closet without any use.
There are many great articles and guides out there that tell you how to create your own capsule wardrobe and become a minimalista, but I want to let you know EXACTLY WHY you should make that choice in the first place.
1. IT'S ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
I found this video on my Facebook feed, which actually inspired me to write this post. The ridiculous amount of resources and money required to (1) produce the crappy $10 shirt you buy that will (2) eventually be worn out after 15 washes and (3) doesn't even fit you that well or LOOK that good will eventually be thrown out - all for the purpose of retailers making a quick buck and providing instant gratification to consumers.
Watch the video on the right from Grist.org for a visual explanation of the entire process:
According to the Ethical Fashion Forum,
"UK consumers send 30kg of clothing and textiles per capita to landfill each year and that 1.2 million tonnes of clothing went to landfill in 2005 in the UK alone. Moreover, textiles present particular problems in landfill as synthetic (man-made fibres) products will not decompose, while woollen garments do decompose and produce methane, which contributes to global warming."
There is so much waste that is perpetuated by the fast fashion trend adopted by many brands in order to gain greater market share and stay competitive in the fashion industry. Every person can individually impact this issue by CHOOSING to consume less and invest their dollars in clothes produced by ethically sourced and environmentally friendly brands.
2. YOUR DOLLARS FIGHT AGAINST UNFAIR LABOR CONDITIONS.
Fast fashion puts increasing pressure on factory workers to complete quotas under shorter deadlines while maintaining the same quality standards.
The Ethical Fashion Forum notes that,
"'Most factories just don’t have the tools and expertise to manage this effectively, so they put the squeeze on the workers. It’s the only margin they have to play with.' (Oxfam report, 2004)"
You know those gut wrenching videos displaying harsh and unfair conditions for factory workers that you just want to ignore on Facebook? Yeah, we're partially to blame for that because of our exponentially increased consumption of clothing, and constant demands of new product from retailers. It's our CULTURE OF MATERIALISM that has forced others less fortunate to pay the cost for the convenience of trendy fashion at low prices.
3. YOUR CLOTHES WILL LAST LONGER.
If you do decide to start your own capsule wardrobe, you'll probably be spending more on high quality items that are durable, functional, and adaptable to fit many outfit combinations. Every piece you purchase will most likely maintain its high quality MUCH LONGER compared to let's say... a cheap pair of jeans at Forever 21. We all know those things stretch and fall apart after 3 washes.
4. YOU'LL VALUE & WEAR EVERY ITEM IN YOUR CLOSET.
The practice of paring down your wardrobe to the essentials and investing in high quality pieces from eco-friendly / ethical brands will cause you to evaluate and appreciate every item in your closet. During every shopping experience, you'll view each potential item of clothing with a new perspective, asking questions like:
Why exactly do I want this? Will this add value to my existing collection?
Is this compatible with the rest of my closet?
Do I see myself wearing this frequently?
If I had to give away one item in my closet just so I could have this item, would it be worth it to me?
I've read many blogs that note the cardinal rule of creating a capsule wardrobe is to reduce your closet to 37 items. Adhering to that rule helps many people when evaluating each piece in their closet, but I view it more as a guideline. Everyone is different, and as long as you're conscious about your buying decisions and lifestyle choices, that's all that matters.
The minimalist lifestyle is not for everyone, but I hope this bit of information informs and influences your purchasing decisions the next time you're out shopping. I wrote this in the attempts to fight against our materialistic society and hopefully aid in SOMEHOW reducing the amount of yearly waste we create with our high consumption of cheap fashion.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
I always welcome feedback and open conversation.