After my 31 day series last October of wearing only ten items all month and blogging about ethical fashion, I set a goal of downsizing my wardrobe to 100 items. To recap, when I started the series, I counted all the clothing in my drawers and closet except for socks and underwear, and came to a total of 354. By the end of the month, that number had dropped to 252. My goals going forward were as follows:
- I'll look for fair trade products first.
- If a fair trade option isn't available, I'll look for a used item from thrift stores or eBay.
- If I can't find it there, I'll buy it from a company that has a higher Free2Work grade or is made in the USA/Canada/Europe.
- I'll buy less so that I can buy better.
- I will invest in multi-tasking pieces and high quality ethically made products that will stand the test of time.
- I'll continue to go through all of my clothes every season and objectively pare it down.
- My goal is to shrink my closet down to 100 items. I'll continue to sell off and donate my clothing, anytime I buy or receive clothing as a gift, something else has to go. That's going to be really hard.
- I will be a conscious consumer, thinking about the people behind the barcode who are affected by my purchasing decisions.
And, I'll keep the Fair Trade Pledge.
“I pledge to consume responsibly. I recognize that as a consumer, my buying power matters. I understand that each product I purchase plays a role in a larger narrative, affecting the life of an individual. Because of this, I will do my best to purchase products that have been made by hands that are treated fairly. I will seek to support supply chains that treat farmers and workers fairly and demand the assurance that items I buy have been made responsibly from start to finish. This means no tolerance for child or slave labor, dangerous working conditions or substandard pay. I will no longer support systems of oppression and will insist that companies I trust operate with a conscience.”
So, now it's February, four months later, and time for an update!
It's still hard to buy less so that I can buy better. It's also still hard to get out of the mindset of just buying cheap clothes because they're a good deal, when A, I don't need them, and B, there's a very high chance they're made in less than desirable conditions. I'm still learning to rethink how I view pricing, and realize that cheaper prices often mean less pay for those involved in making it.
Getting rid of old items whenever I get something new is also a challenge. Especially last Christmas, when I received a couple sweaters and some shoes. Eventually, I parted with a couple sweaters and a pair of shoes I didn't wear as often anymore.
Shopping at thrift stores like Savers
and Goodwill helps a lot with keeping clothing affordable. Speaking of Savers and Goodwill, a couple weeks ago I finished selling on ebay and took the leftovers to Savers. Then I purchased the ebook, The No Brainer Wardrobe
, and now I have another "donate" pile waiting to go. As a result of all this purging and pairing down, I've accomplished two things:
- The total from selling my clothes and a few donations from friends on eBay came to $81! After fees and shipping costs, all the rest was donated to Polaris Project, 4 the 1, and Not For Sale!
- 108. The new total of clothing items in my wardrobe!!!
I'll confess, there's been many times I've despaired of ever reaching 100 items and having anything left to wear. But seriously, 108 doesn't feel much different from 352, except that it's easier and faster to get ready in the morning without all the unnecessary and unworn clothing clogging my space!
If you're curious about why and how I wore ten items for an entire month, or you'd like to know where to shop for ethical fashion, I recommend you start with this post
that contains all the links to the entire month long series.
And if you're on Pinterest, be sure to follow my Fashion for Freedom board
, where I still share fair trade fashion finds and articles.
Thank you for your continued support and encouragement! Believe it or not, it's not as hard as you might think to make a dent in human trafficking. You can make a difference, and I hope you'll take the time to learn about the issues and support companies with a conscience, because it's so worth it!
Labels: ethical fashion, Fashion, Fashion for Freedom, Inspiration, style, Thrifting