What does a sustainable wardrobe mean to me?

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As I recently wrote, I wanted to start building a sustainable wardrobe, but what does this actually mean to me? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since I’ve been following more and more slow fashion bloggers. Most of them seem to be so on top of it, rarely making any mistakes or being tempted by the fast fashion trends.

I am not one of those bloggers.

To be honest, ever since I’ve made the decision to pay more attention to my wardrobe, I’ve been tempted a lot. And sometimes I failed resisting that temptation. But I want to be honest about this proces here. Making a change is rarely easy and it doesn’t have to be perfect in order for it to make a difference.

 

Slow Fashion Bloggers

There are a probably a lot slow fashion bloggers out there, I only follow a few of them – I’ll list them down below – and they all seem to really dive into this ethical and sustainable wardrobe thing, while I’m still craving over the newest collection of Mango and Zara.

Maybe that’s the rehab part of fast fashion?

Thing is, most of the time I don’t really get those I want it so bad-vibes from the known ethical fashion brands. I absolutely love what they are doing, but I just don’t see those items in my personal style. Even though I would love to be perfect at this matter, I think I have to do it in a way that is realistic, and as we all know, sometimes reality can be bittersweet. So no, I’ll probably never be that perfect slow fashion blogger, but being on honest fashion blogger with a focus on slowing down fashion, that I can be.

Does that sound good?

Maybe you’re that reader that will fight for a good cause, no matter what, and that’s okay! Without does die-hard people, there wouldn’t be much of an influence. I actually love it when people are really passionate about something and tell me that I’m not doing it right, because it makes me think about what I am doing and if it feels right to me. But maybe you’re that reader that feels bad about consumerism, about your spending habits or having nothing to wear… than maybe you can relate a bit more to me. No matter what kind of reader you are, I hope to start a little dialogue here about these topics.

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Brands

After watching The True Cost documentary I really felt dirty wearing fast fashion labels. It was like I could feel the suffering in the fibers – honestly at that point I just wanted to give everything away and start again only buying ethically made clothes. But that’s just not realistic – or sustainable either.

I used to be a very loyal customer to brands like Mango and Zara weekly checking their new collections and weekly checking out that online cart. I admit I still love fast fashion trends, but I decided not to support those brands anymore in the same amount I used to. Does that mean I will never buy at Zara again? I can’t promise that, I’m just not that perfect. What I can promise is that I will shift my focus to more sustainable/ethical brands and fabrics, and if I find myself wanting an item from a fast fashion brand, I will make it worth the buy.

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Shopping Behavior

Thinking about which brand you’re buying from directly influences your shopping behavior. If you know that a certain item is most likely made by modern slaves, you won’t feel as good buying it. But we can change our shopping habits even more, buy focussing on what we already have.

Do you really need so many pairs of denim? Don’t you already own a similar pair of black boots?

Not only is reducing the amount of things you buy good for the environment, it’s also good for your wallet. Allowing you to either save up or splurge on higher quality items, like those Gucci loafers you really want.

We all know that polyester clothing is really bad. Not only for the people making it, but also for the people wearing it and especially to our planet since it’s not bio-degradable. The main thing I focus on when buying is fabric. I feel it’s really important that our clothes don’t destroy our planet. But once in a while, there is that polyester piece of clothing that slips right into my heart… giving the perfect flowy vibe I want. And yes, I will feel bad about buying this, but I also feel great wearing that same piece when it makes me look amazing… duality is very real.

 

Capsule wardrobes

What really helps me connect  to the clothes I already own, is the capsule wardrobe system. Project 333 is what introduced me to a more conscious way of consuming in the first place and I’ve been doing this for over 3 years now, so it’s really become a way of living. My capsules mostly don’t turn out how I want them to be… Even after all this time I still make a lot of mistakes, I find myself craving new things every week and sometimes completely give up just to start all over again a couple of weeks later.

That’s life.

It’s only when you fail, you really have the opportunity to learn. I really feel as if I learned a lot about myself, my cravings, my spending habits and my personal style by experimenting with a capsule wardrobe. Now I know that I need a lot of variation and need to be able to switch certain pieces every two weeks. So after two weeks I take a visit to my storage closet and shop my own closet to add some ‘new’ pieces and put away things that didn’t work out that well…

I still buy new clothes frequently – more than I would want to, still working on that one – but I feel that the clothes I’m buying now are mostly winners. They are pieces that suit me and I love wearing, on repeat. This dress for instance has been an unplanned purchase during our trip to Dubrovnik. I ran out of clothes since it was so hot and I stopped by H&M, the only store I could find around there to shop for two new dresses. But I only bought something that I knew would last a longer time and that I wouldn’t get bored of after two wears. And even though it’s not a sustainable fabric, it is a sustainable purchase because I love it so much.

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How much will I wear a certain piece

This last topic brings me to CPW (Cost Per Wear) , which means how much an item costs you every time you wear it. Not only should items be made ethical and sustainable, you should also get your moneys worth. There is nothing beautiful in buying an item that is made properly, but never wearing it and letting it go to waste in your closet.

 

Even though those Gucci loafers don’t really wear the ethical-fashion-label, getting a lot of wear out of them does make them quite sustainable. So I think it all comes down to balance and really thinking it through. None of us are perfect and it trying to make this a perfect journey will only limit myself, so I believe that doing something is better than doing nothing.

 

I’M WEARING
H&M dress
Isabel Marant Dicker dupes (old)
Chanel bag

 

Some of my favorite ‘slow fashion bloggers’
Signe from uselesswardrobe.dk
Jamie from mademois-elle.com
Kellie from wholeheartedwardrobe.com

 

What are your views on the whole fast fashion/slow fashion industry? 

 

 

 

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