Creating your conscious closet
There is currently such a important dialogue happening on the implications of fast fashion in today’s world. The fast fashion industry has been manipulating our consumer habits over last couple decades by generating 52 micro-seasons per year – influencing us to always be seeking the “next best thing” in season, to discard what is no longer in style. The industry has created an unsustainable system of consumption, where the true cost of overproduction has been resulting in affecting our health, our lives & our environment due to the extreme chemicals + waste of the toxicity of materials manufactured. We encourage everyone to begin to consider the necessity of buying new clothes, and in buying clothes that last. If you aren’t inspired to mend something, question if it’s something you really need. Consider investing and educating yourself on buying natural/organic materials, locally sourced goods and event second-hand as to respect nature’s wealth.
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend at event at Hey Jude, a curated vintage shop in Gastown, for their first movie + dinner night. It was a truly empowering gathering of women – passionate about style + sustainable slow fashion. The film screening was a documentary by Andrew Morgan called The True Cost – a truly poignant film about the human and environmental cost behind the fast fashion industry. It explored the life of low-wage workers in developing countries and the lasting effects on our environment such as river & soil pollution, pesticide contamination & disease. It made a significant effect on the way I perceived the fashion industry, despite what I thought I already knew.
The many women in the room all shared a common passion for fashion + style, but with a common distaste and drive to change the horrible implications of the industry. A discussion was opened to impart knowledge, to offer advice/suggestions and to share stories to educate and inspire other women on how to consume more consciously given our current situations.
I know it can feel overwhelming not knowing how or where to start being more conscious about your closet, especially if shops like Forever 21 or H&M feel like the only choices available for people living off low wages in an expensive city like Vancouver.
So I’ve create a list to EDUCATE + EMPOWER you on how to curate your closet just in time for spring cleaning! It is a very simple guideline you can choose to use at any point you feel like doing a closet clean up + refresh your wardrobe without breaking the bank or causing harm.
1. Let go of any two pieces that look the same Meaning… those two white shirts of a slightly different hue, those worn out jeans… Rid yourself of the one you wear the least often. [Choose One] Also, pay extra attention next time you go shopping to make sure you don’t purchase a piece that looks anything like what’s already hanging in your closet.
2. Curate your closet with essential & eclectic pieces. Have fun & be creative with the essential pieces that you have. For instance, using turtlenecks, vest, long dusters, or jewelry to compliment a simple blouse can be the most complimentary piece and equally as creatively satisfying.
3. Buy nice or buy twice. If you choose to buy natural fabrics, there is a much higher chance that the item was handmade by someone who is making a favourable wage, in our own, if not a neighbouring country, with fabrics that are much more durable but harder to sustain due to the decreasing nature of organic farms and agriculture. Whereas large corporations who use mostly polyester, plastics, & toxic dyes to make clothing, charge much less because the cost of materials is lower and the lack of work in developing countries make for low-wage workers to create vast amounts of clothing rapidly + without option, as the working opportunities are minimal. Which therefore, makes the expiry date on clothing a lot earlier than they should be. Support the brands that are making a change + that you know need your support. If you’re not inspired to mend it, you probably shouldn’t buy it.
It is much more cost efficient for yourself + the environment to invest in purchasing an article of clothing that is twice as much as you would normally pay, for better quality & impact on our planet, rather than buy a low-quality piece of clothing twice because it’s lifespan is half as long.
4. Make it a rule : For every piece you bring into your closet, you must donate two. This will make you think twice on whether you really need another piece.
There a few options to re-cycle + re-purpose our clothing. Usually, clothes last a very long time if we know how to take good care of them. Personally, I hold emotional attachments to my clothing and take much creative pride in the things I choose to carefully consume and express myself with. However, I have discovered that being a conscious consumer means sharing the knowledge of doing so with simple steps, one day at a time.
A few small businesses in the city have managed to market & truly succeed at curating recycled fashion and passing on the wisdom of being a conscious consumer. Once you’re done curating your own donation basket, consider bringing your clothing to local business before going to Value Village, as they are a for-profit organization that choose to not give back to their local communities and are mostly bought by big corporations. My suggestions would be to donate to Hunter & Hare (who filter & re-sell your clothes & donate what they don’t put on the racks to the Downtown East Side’s Woman Shelter), Community Thrift, C’est La Vie, Facebook pages like Community Closet, & other vintage/consignment stores – including us!
There are so many great thrift + consignment stores in the city, and it makes it such a great opportunity to have fun during the process of letting go of your clothing. Every piece has their own story, their own narrative. Bless those experiences and let them go! Share it and sell it to others who share the same passion about creative self-expression and let them make new memories in one of your old treasures.
Visit us for our own curated selection of natural consignment clothing + curated objects for your home + alter spaces. We specialize in clothing that is versatile enough to wear for meditation or cruising main street. We are open to taking on new consignees if it is a resonant match for our boutique.
We hope you feel empowered to feel into this important topic + let go of what no longer serves you so you can make space for all you are aligned with! Happy Spring cleaning!