My Goals For An Ethical & Minimal Closet
In the last couple of years, I had become SO frustrated with buying clothes. I love fashion-my outfits have always been my favorite way to express myself. It’s really the only thing I splurge on, and definitely the main thing I spend money on. I try to dress up everyday because I feel my best when I do, and because I have so much fun with it. But for a while now, I have either ended up never finding pieces I liked when I shopped, or I bought clothes and became so bored of them after one or two wears.
Because of that, and also having been introduced to the world of ethical fashion in the last year and a half, I have decided to make a commitment. From now on, I’m making my best effort to shop ethically, and curate a minimal closet- sort of like a capsule wardrobe, except I’m not necessarily limiting myself to a certain number of pieces.
My first introduction to ethical fashion was from my favorite blogger, Caroline Joy of Unfancy. I also worked at an ethical fashion brand last year, and learned more about the inhumane practices of the fashion industry, as well as its devastating effects to the Earth and our environment. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Fashion Revolution or watch The True Cost. I deeply care about the impacts my purchases have on the people who make the products, and our environment, so that is a huge factor of why I’m making this commitment. I also know that curating a capsule wardrobe, purchasing pieces slowly, and buying quality pieces that I am confident will last a long time is the best way to stop wasting my money on clothes I never end up wearing.
Here are my goals for curating an ethical / minimal closet:
Shop Less Often
Like I mentioned, I love clothes and styling new outfits. So there’s never going to be a time when I don’t have a clothing item on my wish list! But I am striving to be less materialistic and save, not spend. My main goal is to be mindful and mainly purchase clothing when it’s something I need. From now on, I’d like to build a mindful closet, purchasing clothing items that can fit well with a lot of different outfits (like a capsule wardrobe!). I’m also striving to purchase quality items that will last a lot longer than cheaper materials, to get a lot of use out of my clothes.
Shop Ethical Brands
Shopping ethically has become a very important goal of mine in the last year! I also want to make sure the brands I’m purchasing from have sustainable practices for making their clothes. The fashion industry is the third largest pollutant in the world, and for the most part it’s extremely unkind to the humans who make most of our clothing. My favorite ethical fashion brand is Tribe Alive, who I’ve talked about on here before. I recently purchased from Everyone, a sustainable fashion brand, and love what I got. I need to continue to do more research, and I’m always open to recommendations on brands to check out!
Build a Capsule Wardrobe
Like I’ve mentioned, I’d like to curate my closet like a capsule wardrobe. I naturally love to re-wear clothing and repeat outfits. I’ve never understood why some people believe it’s a bad thing. If you love something, wouldn’t you want to keep showing it off? Stick with it? So this goal really isn’t too hard for me! The hard part is the fact that I love buying new clothes. But I want to spend more time reworking different pieces into several different outfits, mixing pieces, and having fun with styling! Instead of constantly wanting to buy more clothes, learning to really love the ones I’ve got. Which I guess goes back to goal number one!
MY BEST ADVICE FOR CURATING AN ETHICAL & MINIMAL WARDROBE:
Start with a Closet Check
Survey your closet, and start by removing all clothing you no longer wear. DONATE your clothes to shelters or thrift shops such as the Goodwill. I know it can be tempting to get money from your old clothes, but if you can afford it, donating is much better- there are people out there who really need the old items you can live without.
Make a List
Write down, by season, the basic & staple pieces your wardrobe is lacking. A few pairs of jeans, socks + underwear, a good coat for the winter, sweaters, a solid tee or two. Once you’ve made the list, shop accordingly. Budget for these essential staple items and stick to your list (except the occasional splurge!). This way, you’ll approach shopping very thoughtfully and it will reduce the amount of times you purchase on impulse and end up not wearing the item.
Keep It Simple
I’ve decided to keep my closet simple from now on. Aside from a few unique statement pieces every now and then (I’m still searching for the perfect floral dress), I’m personally very content with a minimal wardrobe. I’ve never loved pattern and have always stuck to a neutral color pallet, so this goal isn’t too hard! Of course, your wardrobe doesn’t have to be simple if that’s not your jam- but I definitely recommend looking into creating a capsule wardrobe! It allows you to get creative with the clothes you already own, which I love.
I , nor anyone else, will ever be perfect when it comes to shopping ethically. Especially with fashion, as ethical pieces tend to be pretty pricey. My best advice is to start slow, and understand that you can’t do it all. Do more research, set your own goals, and again- take a good look at your closet and start removing pieces you don’t love. From there, slowly fill your wardrobe with pieces you know will last. Also, go thrifting! That’s something I’m not the best at, but I’m definitely interested in doing more of.
What are your thoughts on slow fashion? I’ll be sharing a lot more of my outfits in the coming months, so stay tuned!
PS- All photography in this post is by the amazing Katie Jameson