How to approach a sustainable closet?

By: Arpita Banerjee

Fashion resonates differently to every individual which revolves around different styles and element involved in creating an outfit. But there are certain pieces that everybody should have so that it can work as a canvas to further develop various style vibes according to different occasions.

Sustainable closet
Image credits: Wjablow

Therefore, to create a sustainable closet we should keep certain things in our mind such as:-

  • Decide your go to places such as office, college, party, work from home, going out with friends or do you travel the most.
  • After deciding all the activities you usually do assess which activity takes up most of your time or where do you spend your time the most.
  • Have more statement pieces or certain basics that can be worked around for the places you spend more time for example if the office takes up most of your time have staples that can work there and can further be tweaked on casual days.
  • Along with staples, including some quirky and fun stuff, classic accessories to elevate your look.
  • Mix and match pieces to get the most of your closet.
  • Do outfit research, find your style vibe, take inspiration and figure out what works for you and what doesn’t and then plan on a purchase, this will help to reduce impulse buying and help create a workable closet customized by you.
  • If you don’t know your personal style first take inspiration from various websites and social media pages, collect information, break down the style elements and see towards which pieces you gravitate the most keeping in mind your primary purpose. It will help you discover your personal style, which in turn will give you a direction to build your sustainable closet.
  • By practicing all the above-mentioned points, you won’t have to buy a lot of clothes to look put together rather shop wisely to achieve the kind of look you want without creating a hole in your pocket and harming our planet.

But why do we need to think about creating sustainable closet, what is the need?

Well the answer by now is evident and we all must have heard the term “Fast Fashion”. Let me explain you what does it means and how it is related to the choices we make.

Fast fashion is the term given to the big fashion retailers and manufacturing companies that produce an enormous amount of garments in bulk and brings out new styles on weekly basis or monthly basis at a huge cost of people’s lives and our precious environment.

Why it is bad and what impact does it have ?

Producing such large amount of garments at lower prices and changing trends every other day cannot come without paying a price and these procedure of supply management chain directly impact laborer’s life working for these companies are often under paid for the time and effort they put in making these garments, usually working long unpaid hours to satisfy demands in hazardous working condition such as no ventilation, unsafe buildings prone to accident and injury, inhaling toxic substances , without health & safety gear or insurance.

Along with the social issue it has an huge environmental impact starting from procurement of raw materials, production, transportation, selling and later discarded.

These retailers and manufacturers mostly use synthetic fibres that require toxic chemical treatment to produce trendy clothes leading to air pollution as garment factories use a nonrenewable source of energy emitting huge amount of greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution due to untreated toxic wastewater from factories, runoff from fertilizers, degradation of soil due to the massive use of chemicals, and discarded clothes sent to landfill. The process of the creation of fast fashion to its usage is a wasteful process impacting every part of our ecosystem.

According to studies conducted by IUCN 0.6-1.7 million tons of microfibers end up in the oceans every year. 20% of water pollution comes from the treatment of textiles and dyes. 72% of clothing is made using polluting synthetic fibers. The whole industry is based upon the Take-Make-Waste policy that needs to be changed.

That being said, change has to come from both ends. One from the initiatives and efforts taken by fashion industries and the other from the consumer end, that is the US! Even if we immediately can’t change factory norms and conditions we can shift our attention towards ethically sourced and well-paying local stores and companies along with reducing the consumerism mindset.

So, the need for a sustainable closet arises. It’s okay if we have made these mistakes in the past knowingly or unknowingly we all can still change. I have been a part of the problem as well but one determined decision can make this process easy. So, I want to urge you to shift your mindset for better health and purpose-driven life rather than falling into the never-ending race of consumerism.

(Check out Arpita’s blog here)

Arpita Banerjee

I am Arpita Banerjee an Indian sustainability blogger, creator of sustainablyconsciouslife, on my blog I talk about living a simple, conscious and low waste life & advocate for environmental justice. I make digestible content around sustainable fashion, travel and lifestyle and advice people how to train your mind to start on this journey.

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