Thanksgiving is Thursday, inevitably followed by Black Friday here in the US. It's the discordant season of thankfulness followed by excessive greed. So much so that some brands are actually opting out of the day.
But let's say that, like many of us, you are unhappy with your wardrobe and the siren song of holiday sales is calling you. This time of year, right before a fresh new start could be the perfect time for you to slim down your wardrobe. Maybe you'll have extra coats for winter collections. Perhaps you'll finally have that dress tailored before your New Year's party or shop the sales for only the essentials. It's a good time to get some deals — if you know what you need.
However, the only way to know what you need is to evaluate what you have. Evaluate, sort, sell, mend, then shop. I've been through this process and I must say that it is well worth the time and effort. I made some cash off the stuff I no longer wanted and now have more items I absolutely love in my closet, making it easier for me to dress and feel good in my clothes.
One thing that helped me sort out my piles of clothes was Summer Edwards' 6 Steps to a Sustainable Wardrobe (disclosure: I did the artwork and I'm a sales affiliate for the book). A slow fashion expert, Summer will help you responsibly transition your clothes and consumption. She's also available to provide answers and support as you work through the steps; when I needed encouragement to power through my mending pile, Summer cheered me on over Instagram. Her simple guide will take you through the steps of sorting what you have and evaluating what you need so that you end up with a consciously curated wardrobe.
Below is an excerpt from 6 Steps to a Sustainable Wardrobe along with a special discount. Enjoy and happy holidays!
Decluttering, minimalism and a sustainable wardrobe
If you are interested in creating a more sustainable wardrobe, there is a good chance that you will stumble across to minimalism. Minimalism is the movement that aims to simplify people’s lives by untangling their attachment to ‘stuff’, downsizing, and offering alternate vision of success- one that doesn’t promote more (money, things, experiences, work), and focuses on quality over quantity.
At its essence, minimalism is a very sustainable concept. It frees you from materialism and the need to buy new and better, or to consume your way to happiness. However, as happens when a concept is in vogue, there a great deal of very poor minimalist advice out there.
Decluttering is an important process for you to go through. However, if you simply purge your clothing quickly, without mindfulness, you are likely to keep continuing your poor purchases and overconsumption habits. It is important to clear your wardrobe over time, taking the time to mindfully recognise what motivated you to buy something you never wore, or hold on to something that doesn’t fit and so on. If you don’t recognise your motivations for the clutter, you will simply keep repeating old mistakes. Let’s face it- how many times have you cleared out your wardrobe before?
So, as you work through the decluttering process, whether it takes you a week or a year, be sure to give yourself the headspace to really examine your attachments to your clothes. This way you won’t continue to accumulate and hoard a wardrobe full of clothes you have no use for.
To declutter sustainably it is also important that you try to find new homes for the clothes that you can. Try a clothing swap, giving to family and friends, selling your clothing second-hand, donating directly to a women’s or homeless shelter or so on. Donating to charity/thrift stores should be a last resort, especially for fast fashion items. It is estimated that one third of donated clothing is resold, one third is shipped to the developing world where it is resold -undermining local artisans and industry in the process- and, the final one third cut up for rags or going to landfill. If you have good quality items, you can probably donate them safely. But if you have fast fashion items you should consider just using them yourself until they fall apart and need to be recycled or repurposed. If you keep these items for another year, and you still don’t wear them, donate them then. This way, at least, you can be sure that having them as a constant reminder of your poor shopping choices will motivate you avoid the same mistakes again!
And just finally, a sustainable wardrobe needn’t be a bare minimalist wardrobe if that doesn’t suit your personality. A sustainable wardrobe is one that contains good quality clothing, in sustainable fabrics, that you wear regularly and get good use out of, and then dispose of in a sustainable way. Whether that means owning 30 items or 100 is up to you.
Get your copy and get control of your closet this year.
Summer is offering a discount! Get your copy through January 30th for just $10 with the code, newyear.