We all want to do good in the world, but where to begin?? What if I told you that you can start with your closet? I mean, it doesn’t get better than that.
See, for years I built my wardrobe the way a lot of us do: a mindset that more + cheap = better. I bought things that I didn’t need and barely wore just because the price tag was appealing or the fad happened to be in that week.
Then I gained some knowledge about how the fashion industry really works, and I realized that how I interacted with clothes was contributing to a big problem—in fact, lots of big problems.
Turns out, the fashion industry has a lot of issues. For starters, it creates tons of unnecessary waste, harms the environment, and exploits most of the workers who sew the very clothes on our backs.
Here Are some quick facts to explain what I mean…
- Clothing production has nearly doubled since the year 2000, but people are only keeping their clothes half as long
- Every year, individual Americans throw away an average 68 pounds of textiles
- The fashion industry accounts for 10% of the world’s carbon emissions
- 98% of workers in the industry aren’t making a living wage (ninety-eight percent!)
At first all of this can all feel overwhelming. But the good news is, we actually have some power over the situation! The fashion industry relies on our money, so by simply changing some simple behaviors and making better purchases, you and I can have a meaningful impact.
Now let me tell you, I love fashion. I’m not saying I dress like a beauty queen (LOL if you saw how I roll up to work some days)…but personal style is important to me. I enjoy curating pieces that make me feel like me, and using my clothes to say something about who I am. That’s why I started a journey to clean up my wardrobe, so my clothes actually express my values.
Here’s how I do it, and how you can too:
- Shop slow – The very best thing we can do for our planet is to slow down our buying. First focus on what you have in your closet, then work on curating versatile, quality pieces that you love, and that will last you.
- Shop secondhand – Shop vintage, consignment, thrift stores, online resale, or your friends’ closets. These are all great ways to extend the lifecycle of clothes, and create a very personal and unique wardrobe.
My favorite secondhand stores:
Shop ethical brands :
Invest in brands that are doing good. Make an effort to buy from companies that are committed to fair labor, protecting the environment, or giving back to their communities. Decide what your values are, and support brands that align with that.
Brands I think you’ll love:
These are what I call “slow fashion” habits. It takes some time to build habits, but here’s the impact of them:
- Less clothing in the landfill
- Less pollution and water use
- More workers receiving living wages
- More pressure on big brands to act responsibly
- And these are just a few!
To build a sustainable wardrobe, you gotta start somewhere, no matter how small. Remember that each small choice adds up—and when we all start building better habits, that’s when we see big, collective impact!
Hey, I’m so glad Maz let me come share a little bit about my favorite topic with you guys. Wanna learn more or share your thoughts? Find me on the ‘gram and let’s chat more!