An Ethical Guide to Simplifying your Closet & Wardrobe
The best ways to tell that Spring is here in Boston: you can finally remove the snow markers from your driveway, and people fill the streets to cheer on the Marathoners. And the desire for spring cleaning. After hibernating for months, and every part of me wants to konmari my entire closet and house.
Despite the slow, but constant, transition towards purchasing ethically made and sustainable clothing, there is still a lot of worn out or barely worn pieces filling my closet that just create physical and mental clutter.
Where to start?
The “Do you love it?” from Tommy John:
And the 4-Pile strategy from WhoWhatWear.com
But it’s more than just purging. Going through the process of sorting through clothing is a constant reminder of excess. There’s just too much. We buy – I buy – too much. Leading to too much waste.
Quotes and images from the True Cost documentary keep coming to mind as I start to sort through my closet:
Only 10% of the clothes donated to charity or thrift stores are sold.
The other 90% ends up in landfills or flooding markets in developing countries overseas. Hurting their economy and environment.
So what can we do?
Invest in quality pieces that will last.
Research the brands to ensure that the pieces are ethically made and use sustainably materials. Here’s a list of some of my favorite ethical fashion brands.
Start a capsule wardrobe.
Project 333 encourages going through your closet and pulling together a wardrobe of 33 pieces to wear over the next 3 months. IMBY, founded by Sara Weinreb, is a curated online shop filled with ethical and sustainable brands perfect for your capsule wardrobe. I’m absolutely loving VETTA‘s capsule releases and how they show the multiple ways each piece can be worn.
Have extra jeans?
Host a Sole Hope Shoe Cutting Party to cut shoe patterns to be made into shoes for kids in Uganda to protect their feet from harmful jiggers.
Trade & share clothes.
Shop at thrift, vintage and consignment stores.
Go rock a vintage Valentino jacket at your next holiday party. And jeans are always better worn-in.
Pull together clothes to be given directly to homeless or similar missions. Cradles to Crayons does an excellent job of involving the community (great for kids!) and giving directly to those in need.
Reduce the amount of cheap, fast fashion clothes you buy.
I’m still working on this too, especially shopping for my boys. They only wear athletic pants (what they call “fancy pants”) and destroy them/grow so quickly that I end up at cheaply made places like Old Navy and Target.
At Bevy Goods, we are committed to investing in and using responsibly-sourced leather, which means our leathers are vegetable-tanned (reducing the amount of dangerous chromium that used) or comes from facilities that adhere to strict environmental codes and conditions. We create bags with lasting style + purpose: ethically-made bags that carry you from day to night.