Sustainable lifestyle choices have been brought to the forefront in recent years and popularized as a standard way of living due to the increased sensitivity to environmental issues around the world. An area of sustainability that has grown especially popular in response to these concerns is the fashion industry.
In recent years, we have seen brands like Reformation and H&M making switches from running as harmful fast fashion industries to developing more ethical policies, such as recycling materials and reducing their carbon inputs. While these companies are still not perfect, and in some cases, use sustainability only as a marketing tool, they are still taking a step in the right direction.
As consumers, we have a large say in what the future of the fashion industry will look like. No matter how small, our consumption choices all have an impact, and minimalism is a movement that encourages us to be mindful of just that.
Minimalism, in general, is the idea of living without an excess of possessions. Minimalist wardrobes follow this principle: owning a wardrobe with just enough basics and essentials to get by on. There is no set number of clothing items that should be found in these closets as minimalism seeks to prioritize that we should be conscious of our needs and consumption.
If you are interested in developing your minimalist wardrobe, you don't need to start fresh by scrapping your whole closet and buying an entirely new set of clothing. Instead, go through your closet, make a list of your most-worn clothing and identify pieces that gather dust or haven't seen the light of day in a while.
From here, you can decide what to keep and what to get rid of. The articles of clothing that don't make the cut can be donated to friends and acquaintances or a secondhand clothing store.
When purchasing new clothes with the minimalist mindset, the importance of consciousness and self-control comes in. Quality over quantity is good to keep in mind when adding to your closet.
It's helpful to identify brands that use both materials that will last over time and are ethically produced. Materials to look for in new clothing purchases are recycled cotton, organic hemp and linen, and recycled polyester.
Seeking out these companies can be difficult if you are on a budget. However, some quality, ethical brands that follow these principles and are more reasonably priced choices for adding to a sustainable wardrobe are Lisa Says Gah and Cider.
If you're looking for cheaper ways to gather essentials, shopping at thrift stores or hosting clothing swaps with your friends are popular ways to do so without contributing to unethical clothing companies.
Another important aspect of minimalism is maintaining the quality of clothing items. This could be taking the time to check how to wash and dry clothes properly or learning basic sewing skills to make small repairs instead of tossing the garment.
Choosing to live in a minimalist way not only results in a positive impact on the environment but also on oneself. A quote from Black Minimalists, a site for a community of like-minded people, says, "We find freedom by creating an intentional community centered on simple living."
Minimalism in your wardrobe can improve your life by feeling less roped into a consumption-driven world and teaches essential mindfulness lessons.