Fast and cheaper fashion today means we are tempted to fill our closets with unnecessary items that are hardly worn. It’s hard to not feel a tinge of guilt when environmentalist Greta Thunberg is taking the world by storm with her call for environmental action. CEOs like Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are known for having worn the same thing every day. Marie Kondo is infiltrating homes and impacting people’s lives on Netflix encouraging them to de-clutter. Everywhere we turn we are being told to live more responsibly and make more sustainable choices.
“Did you know that fast fashion is now the second-largest polluter in the world?”
The global apparel and footwear industry accounts for 8 percent of the world’s greenhouse emissions. Yet with a bit of effort, it’s possible to help the planet, and find joy in your wardrobe in the process!
By going through what you own and putting them into categories, you might notice you have all you need to have fun! Did you forget you had that pretty outfit or those cool boots? The first thing to do is shop in your own wardrobe, and give a new life to some of your items by styling them up or styling them down. Wear that colorful summer dress with your leather jacket and boots to give it an edge. Dress down the party frock with flats, or add heels and a soft shirt to a pair of jeans. The girl in you is going to rock today!
When you really need new pieces and want to go planet-friendly, buy second hand or have a clothes swap party with your girlfriends, and their girlfriends, so each of you finds something to love. Mend that cherished outfit where the zipper is broken so you can wear it again.
Click here for more styling tips from Anelle Coetzee and for home organization advice, read Laetitia’s article in INSPIRELLE.
Love that hairpin but don’t dare wear it in your hair? Bring it into your life by clipping it to your sweater, blazer, scarf or bag! Are you dying to wear that coat again, but just feel something is off? Maybe just changing the buttons will be what you needed to get rid of its strange dated look.
And what if you really don’t like or wear the item? The best solution is to offer it to someone you know will appreciate it, or donate it to a charity. In Paris, Emmaüs, a local woman’s shelter, or a local church will pass it on to someone who needs it and will use it! Megan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is now a major patron of Smart Works which helps British women who have been unemployed find their way by giving them clothes for job interviews to boost their confidence. In France and Belgium, La Cravate Solidaire does something similar, collecting office-appropriate clothes, shoes and accessories for men and women to help them back to work.
When going through your wardrobe or out shopping, ask yourself these simple questions:
– Should I buy this item that I might already have somewhere in my wardrobe?
– Do I love this and will I still covet it for more than a season?
– Does this feel good? Or does it feel too tight, too short or too dull for me?
If you are in the store, and are very tempted to take something, but aren’t 100% sure, then buy it. Keep the price tags on so you can see if you still like it after a few days. If you just aren’t that pleased with it, bring it back to the store and get your money back. Reclaim your precious closet space! It should be reserved for items you really wear and like!
“Call it eco-fashion if you like. I think it’s just common sense.”
– Livia Firth
We can have fun with our clothes without it being at the expense of the planet. Just tweak a few of your clothing habits and the coming generations will be thankful you did!