The current popularity of changing to a sustainable wardrobe is a symptom of bigger issues. The blandness of our wardrobes and the lack of meaning in the outfits and the fashion that we wear is something we cannot solve with sustainable habits alone.
Whether we buy from a brand, a big clothing chain or an online website, we are sold a story. This story has been carefully constructed, often for years. You see this in the commercials they put out into the world, the ads in the stores and the clothes’ shapes, colours and materials. These stories though are shallow, as we do not know anything about the ‘real’ origin story. We do not know how and where a garment is made, why it was made and what the designer had in mind. Heck, we no longer know the store owner or where we bought the item, nor have a connection with the people who work in the store. It doesn’t help to make us feel positive about the garments that we own knowing that the real story is probably a horrible one.
The worst result of being a more sustainable consumer isn’t that bad. Anybody who changes from a high-street wardrobe to a sustainable wardrobe would own a meaningful impersonal wardrobe rather than a meaningless impersonal wardrobe. But when your goal is to simply change to a sustainable wardrobe you miss out on a fantastic opportunity and that is to really make your wardrobe personal!
The popularity of buying sustainable is understandable, as it tackles more than just the meaningless of our clothing. It makes buying much more personal. A typical sustainable store is smaller; usually the owner is in the store or available online, and able to tell their own story or the stories of the products that they sell. This is very different to what usually happens in a High Street store.
Right now, looking into sustainability, you are in the perfect position to completely change your relationship with your wardrobe. You feel the need to change the habits that have dictated the content of your wardrobe because you know they are contributing to some particular problems in the world. You want to feel happy wearing the items that you own, you want to know that the money you spend is put to work honestly in the world-economy. Can you take this one step further and add your own happiness and well being to that wish list?
As you have been reading, buying sustainable will solve a few of those impersonal wardrobe problems that I have been talking about. But we are still talking about buying sustainably. Let me say that again; BUYING sustainable; spending money on brands that are working on a story they sell to the world. It is no doubt, a better story, but it still is not very personal.
Creating, or curating as I like to call it, an inspirational personal wardrobe is a lifetime’s work. Your wardrobe will always be changing, not just because your personality is ever-changing.
The opportunities within fashion to express your individuality will increase. Fashion at the moment is an industry that has suffered because of the way fashion itself works. Garments are cheap, so there is very little room for evolution or revolutions in fashion. To give you an example, currently it is possible to design your own sweater, with zero waste and no extra production time. These kinds of options are becoming more available, but only when we start to ask.
This example shows that looking at personal fashion is interesting from an environmental point of view. What do you want? What would excite you to wear? What would you want to create that is unique and that would make you feel good? Asking these questions will inevitably slow your fashion habits down.
The feeling that we have whilst making choices for our wardrobe resonate back to us when we open the doors to our wardrobes. The feelings we like to feel when we open the doors is highly personal. But we are unable to ask for what makes us feel happy because we have never done that before, nor have we seen it demonstrated.
The life long buying habits we have are difficult to break because they are so normal. However, just because it is the way things have been done, does not mean it is how it should be done. In my ebook, I explain more about how we experience fashion at the moment and how that can harm us personally. I want to help you to take a step back and objectively look at your habits. As you are looking to buy more sustainably, you are in the perfect position to really elevate your wardrobe and start expressing your true self.