5 ways to build a more ethical closet
How to build an ethical closet. By VectorMine | www.shutterstock.com
In an ideal world, maybe I would have had the perfect ethical closet because I would have had enough money to keep this habit going. But in a world where nothing is perfect, this is not my reality. I just don’t have that kind of money to invest in high end items. And of course replacing my wardrobe now with sustainable / ethical items means that I would still be contributing to waste right now. So the best way forward for me would be to lean on the current closet that I have right now. Supporting ethical brands is just one way to contribute to a sustainable lifestyle. So scroll down to see how you can reduce your personal contribution to the detrimental effect of fast fashion.
Here are 5 ways to create a more ethical closet:
1) Take care of the clothes you already own.
Taking care of your old clothes, even if they are mass-market brands, is the most basic way to build an ethical closet. Because well-groomed clothes last longer. This would mean that you can buy less clothes and only what you really need. This would inevitably help reduce your own contribution to the pollution caused by the fashion industry.
How to take better care of your clothes? Repair, recycle, hand wash what needs to be, don’t try to hang up all your clothes, some need to be folded and put away. Treat your clothes with love and even fast fashion will stand the test of time.
2) Buy less, choose better.
Fast fashion got its name from how quickly catwalk models hit the market at cheaper prices. While this makes fashion more accessible, it also generates more waste. Because things are so cheap, we don’t think twice before buying them and most of them are impulse buys. Some of them are so badly worn that after some wear we throw them away. Do we stop to think about where this might end up? Most of them go to landfill, creating real physical waste. It also leaves us with a closet full of things we don’t need, so we keep shopping to fill that void of having nothing to really wear. Even if that means we have a closet full of stuff. It’s a never-ending cycle, isn’t it?
So how can one be aware in this situation? No one is saying not to shop, it just means to be more aware of how they show. Make a list of the items you really need before you venture out. Don’t be too distracted by the pretty things that aren’t on this list. Try everything before you buy, and don’t settle for something that doesn’t quite suit you right off the bat. You can also buy just 1 or 2 premium or eco-branded items instead of buying 5 cheap items. This will help you slowly buy less and over time you will end up with a more satisfying, ethical, and useful closet.
3) Choose high-quality, functional clothing.
Opting for high quality clothes means that your clothes will outlast the fast fashion items. It also means that these items are well made, so they won’t need to be replaced often. And less shopping will lead you to a more ethical closet. It’s not a budget option, so don’t go overboard. Keep in mind the options mentioned above and below.
4) Buy second-hand clothes.
Another alternative to buying high end items is looking for pre-worn / vintage clothing. It is certainly an economical option but it takes the most time. If you go through thrift stores, it can take forever to find an item that you love and must have. But it’s worth it in the end, because you end up with a unique, more ethical piece that no one else could have.
5) Spend on ethical brands.
Do a little research on emerging brands to see how ethical their practices are. Don’t accept buzzwords and smart marketing practices. There are many brands that do a good job ethically. Show your support and invest in these articles instead. Again, this may not be economical, so you can go for this once in a blue moon.
What are some of the steps you take to build an ethical closet? Let me know in the comments below.
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