I'm super excited to dive into the topic of minimalist fashion with you all, but to be honest, I'm nervous as well. I feel like I don't really have any credibility to be discussing this - that there are many people who are doing this way better than me, and a lot of people wouldn't even consider myself a minimalist - myself included sometimes! Also part of this whole conversation is the topic of "ethical fashion" - something I'm so passionate about, but a topic that can be somewhat of a hot-button thing. Do I really have the place to be blogging about it? But then I remember that I've spent hours and hours over the past two years researching the fashion industry, reading the fine print of company's "corporate responsibility" policies and emailing smaller shops to ask about their supply chains and manufacturing. I've read lots of articles and lots of blog posts and while I'm certainly no expert, I've learned a ton and am excited to share that knowledge with you.
I also want to start out by mentioning that it is not my intention to guilt anyone for their shopping habits. I'm not here to shame you for shopping at H&M and Target and Forever21 or what have you. You shouldn't feel ashamed for having a walk-in closet packed to the gills with clothing. There is a big difference between convicted to do something and being guilted to do something, and I never want anyone to be guilted into buying ethically made items, or feel shamed for their choices. I DO think it's important to understand where and how your clothes are made, though, and to start asking the hard questions like "why is this dress only $4? If I go back 18 steps, what might the person who made it be getting paid?" Or maybe asking yourself why you keep and store so many items when you probably only wear 30% of them? These are eye-opening questions with no pretty answers but they might lead you down the path of conviction like they led me. But I certainly don't want you to feel like I look down on anyone for where they currently shop. I have come a LONG way and still get tempted by the window displays at Old Navy. Cute stuff is cute stuff! It IS my hope that by the end of this series, you're inspired to think about your clothing in a new way. Whether it's to simply cut back on the number of pieces in your closet, finally try your hand at sewing something yourself, giving secondhand shopping a try, or supporting an independent, fair-trade designer, I hope that by the end of these posts, you're thinking about things differently, and have learned at least something!
In this series, I'm going to talk about a whole lot of stuff, like:
- My case for buying ethically made
- What ethically made means to me
- What the difference is between "ethically produced" and "fair trade" and other labels you might see
- Sneaky sides of the "fast fashion" industry they don't really want you to know
- How I transitioned away from a traditional closet to a very limited, all-season capsule wardrobe
- How I use the same few pieces across all seasons (here in central Indiana, we experience four distinct seasons, with temperatures ranging from -10 to high 90s!)
- How I store my clothes in our small house with limited closet space
- Different outfits and how to transition pieces from work to play to dates and such
- Tips for shopping secondhand
- Trusted places to shop for ethically produced items
I'm not going to claim to know everything, and I'm constantly learning as I go. I am VERY proud of how far I've come, though. From the girl who literally doubled her wardrobe while studying abroad, and had to buy an entire suitcase to bring it all home AND have a friend check it because I was already at my max for checked baggage, it's been quite the transformation.
Currently in my wardrobe I have 37 pieces in the "ethical" category and 20 pieces in the "non" category. I'm very grateful that this trend towards "slow fashion" is catching on, and that thanks to the internet and social media, it's becoming even easier to find brands who stand for change and uphold human rights within the garment industry. I can't wait to dive into that more with you all!
If you have specific questions, or know of any great resources or links on the topic of slow fashion, pop them into the comments! I'd be glad to answer any questions that I can, and always love reading more on this topic! XOXO!