Wear It Wednesday | How to create an ethical closet

I made a conscience decision this year, to have a more ethically minded closet. Focusing pieces made specifically by brands that empower women in developing countries. 

Here are my go-to tips for creating a more ethically minded closet:

CLOSET INVENTORY

First, you have to know what you actually have in your closet before you can start. Here is a template I made in excel that I found to be extremely helpful. Print it out or save a copy on your desktop and fill in. Seriously, take a weekend and itemize all the things in your closet, tops, bottoms, shoes, bags, sweaters, jackets, vests, and so on.

It’s somewhere between the inventory phase and the research and replace phase where you can iron out what you want your closet to actually look like.

Do you need more skirts?

Perhaps you realized you don’t own any printed tops, ehm. *like someone writing this post.

Make a list of what you need to complete your closet before going on an insane online shopping spree.

This takes time. I’ve been working on my ethically minded closet for the last 5 months, it’s a process and there are times I think I’m never going to be done. But for everything you bring in be replacing or remove at least one thing, if not 2. When you have fewer things in your closet you’ll find you’ll really love the pieces you do have.

RESEARCH & REPLACE

Figure out which pieces you will be replacing or that need to be replaced.

Find a brand that speaks to the causes important to you; do eco-friendly dyes or sustainable farming practices make a difference to you? Perhaps you prefer a brand that employs women or girls from developing nations? Check out my 31 days of Fashion for Good for some great brands or THIS list from Still Being Molly, my ethical fashion blogger hero. 😉

Need new ways to discover brands that support your values? Try WearWell, an ethical fashion subscription box that sends you ethically made pieces that fit your budget, style & values!

Do some research and save up. When you move your closet to a more minimal capsule style, you’ll find the most important thing is buy pieces you know you’ll wear for a long time, so paying more (lower cost per wear when worn regularly) vs buying cheaply and only wearing a few times.

REDUCE TEXTILE WASTE

We waste more textiles now than ever before. When a shirt has a hole in it explore new ways to use this shirt. Can it become a dish rag? Perhaps a dog toy? Can you repurpose it into a shopping bag? If you don’t know how to sew find someone who does and have them make a t-shirt quilt for you of those can’t get rid of tees! Get creative before tossing it out!

SELL

Use Poshmark to sell pieces you simply are not using. My rule of thumb is, “Have I worn, used or will I want to use this in the next 6 months?” If the answer is no, and I cannot for see a need to keep something I have 3 options:

  1. Sell– pieces in good condition
  2. Store for 6 months until I can decide what I am going to do – I set an alarm on my phone & write in my calendar to re-evaluate on a specific weekend
  3. If it is simply unwearable I can recycle it into something new or donate it to my thrift store, which has the ability to make large recycling donations

Those are the options. Now somethings like formal dresses and special occasion pieces are worth holding on to, but YOU have to make those decisions yourself.

Buy selling, I’m able to get rid of things I’m not using to buy things I want. Recently I sold over $100 worth of things I wasn’t wearing to buy a pair of Design Your Dream Sandals from Sseko and it was worth it!


Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Are you working towards an ethical closet? What is one tip you’d give to someone wanting to start?


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