Ethical capsule wardrobe. How did we even get here? It started when I was so blown away by how much you guys loved my post: KonMari Meets the Capsule Wardrobe. It seems like that topic really spoke to a lot of you. I think so many of us are really trying to create a more minimal lifestyle (no matter what minimalism means to you personally). As I’ve said before, my Capsule Wardrobe has evolved over the past 3 years. In the beginning, I think I thought it was best to stick to a certain number of items in my closet. Through trial, error & daily living, I realized my closet was less about the number of items & more about how each item made me feel. This has truly been a completely new way of thinking about shopping & also honing in on my ‘why’ behind what I’m purchasing. But being this intentional has a way of seeping into other areas & it made me realize that another place I wanted to focus was creating an ethical wardrobe. I feel, as we are stewards of this earth, we do our best to take care of our planet, we choose the food we eat intentionally to protect our body & the environment. We choose the skincare & cosmetics we use to ensure we’re putting fewer chemicals on our body & into our planet. But what about our clothing? What would happen if we looked at not only the fabrics that our clothes were made of, but also the people making our clothing. Don’t they also deserve the same care & consideration? Those are the kinds of things I think deserve a closer look. If you’ve been thinking the same, I hope this helps you choose how to create an ethical capsule wardrobe.
How to Create an Ethical Capsule Wardrobe
1- Choose your Hero Pieces
Do you have an item you reach for almost daily? I certainly do. I’m such a creature of habit & I’m willing to bet many of us are the same. A cardigan you’ve worn more times than you can count. A pair of jeans you wear almost every day. Your favorite shoes you love so much you considered buying them in another color. Yeah, we’ve all got our hero pieces. The good thing about these items (if you’re like me) is that when you wear them, you wear them hard. Since they’re the most reached for, you’re really getting your mileage outta them. They are well loved. When it comes to a piece I know I’ll be wearing time & time again – I really want to make sure this item is something from an ethical, sustainable or fair trade company. Why? First, I know I don’t mind spending more money on this item. It’s going to be lived in (maybe sometimes even slept in). I know my ‘dollar to wear’ ratio will even out so I’m ok if this item costs more than I might usually spend on any other item because I know I’m only buying one. Since I’m only buying one, I want to make sure it fits me like a glove, makes me feel awesome & is made lovingly by people who are being paid fairly for their work. Some of my hero pieces include a solid denim shirt, denim (or black denim), clogs & boots.
2- Get Social
I can’t even begin to list the number of ethical brands I’ve found on Instagram. One tagged brand leads me to another tagged brand & another & another! I used to feel really lost for brand suggestions or inspiration until I started following some ethical fashion bloggers on Instagram. Now I feel like I have a whole treasure trove of companies to look to when I need inspiration or a new item for my closet. Some of my favorite bloggers to follow are The Garment Life, This Mom’s Gonna Snap & Andrea Harman. Some of my favorite brands to follow on Instagram are Able (formerly Live FashionABLE), Everlane, Noonday Collection, Sseko Designs, Nisolo Shoes & Elizabeth Suzann.
3- Define your Personal Style
I feel like this is a bit of a double edged sword. Personally, I feel like my style has evolved over the past few years. Just when I think I know what I’m doing, I end up choosing a piece that doesn’t quite suit me the way I thought it would. When this happens, it seems like it’s most likely because I’ve been following someone else’s style & not mine. Does that make sense? This is something that happens to me as a blogger as well. I hear one person saying – Oh, you must focus all your time on Pinterest! That’s where you need to be. So I say, they are RIGHT! I should be focusing all my time on Pinterest. But then, after too much time wasted I may realize that Pinterest isn’t actually all that valuable to me. And really, I should have been focused on what was more important & beneficial to me.
Your personal style is just that – it’s yours. Yes, I think it’s important to use other’s as a guide or inspiration. But making sure you’re staying true to your own personal style will help you curate your ethical closet more intentionally & also waste less money. If you do happen to splurge on something that’s just not you (we all do it) try & gift or resell that item before you replace it. This process may give you more time to consider what it was that drew you to that piece (it looked amazing on so & so) & what made the piece feel not quite right to you (but I hate high wasted jeans, they make my butt look big & I feel like my mom). For the record – I lurv me some high wasted jeans.
Jeans – Able; The Kick denim in Susanna Wash (gifted)
Shoes – Elizabeth Suzann; Suzi Boot