Building an Ethical Closet

Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the greatest participants in modern slavery? The demand for trendy, cheap clothes has fueled an incredible demand for labor - one that is enslaving and endangering millions of women and children. Despite the astounding resources and labor it takes to produce garments (nearly 3k liters of water just to make a tshirt!), millions of tons of clothing ends up in landfills each year. Fashion shouldn’t cost lives & the planet. We can stop this.
Here's how you can make a difference: Buy Less. Choose Well. Make it Last.

Buy Less. Slow down on purchases - focusing on your actual needs or pieces that will stay with you for years to come. 

Choose Well. Buy high quality items from ethical & sustainable brands. Do your research and ask questions to find out if laborers are paid fair wages in safe working conditions and if the company's practices are aligned with their values.

Make it last. Tailor your clothing for a perfect fit and repair them as needed. Repurpose when repair isn’t possible. A donation center should always be your last option. 

Here are 3 easy steps to get you started:

1. Marie Kondo your closet. Pay attention to the items you love or you wear often and tune into your personal style. (We’ve got a quiz if you need some help!) Once you’ve got a better grasp on your style, the items you have, and what you might need, you’ll be able to shop smarter + shop less.

2. Create a closet plan (capsule or otherwise).  Consider the weather where you live, your lifestyle, and your needs - being as honest and realistic as possible. Decide what and how much you need, using an online template or by creating your own. When you really understand how much is already in your closet, you’ll realize you  may not need to get something new every week. You’ll be able to save up for special purchases and put any shopping money toward high quality, ethical and sustainable purchases that will last you years to come. 

3. Take good care of the clothing you do have. This includes the care & washing process, as well as tailoring and repairs. Trust the washing instructions provided on garment tags and set aside time each week/month for dry cleaning and hand washing garments. Put on a show or a podcast, and enjoy the process of caring for these clothes. Spot treat between wears and don’t wash unless it’s actually dirty/smelly and unusable. You might be surprised that you’re able to get more than one wear out of most of your clothing!

Sometimes when starting something new, consistency and keeping up with it can be challenging. Whether you use a physical planner or just plug it into your phone calendar, set aside 5 minutes to schedule closet assessments throughout the year. We’d recommend 3 or so times a year - right around season changes when there’s a natural push for renewal. During these assessments, look back through bank records to see how much you’ve spent on shopping. Look in your closet to see what you’ve been reaching for and what’s just been hanging there. And go back to step 1 (a la marie kondo) if you need to. Just get into the habit of being thoughtful and critical conscious consumer and you'll be set!

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