Thursday, August 31, 2017

The sustainable wardrobe

You know how sometimes several facets of your life seem to converge? I've been thinking a lot lately (well, for years really) about how to dress sustainably. There are many aspects to this: not following fashions, not buying 'disposable' clothes, only buying items I truly want and need and making them last for many, many wears ... and being mindful of where clothing and footwear come from, who made them, and the processes used in their production. For several years I had a goal to buy no more than 20 new items of outerwear or footwear per year; for the past two years I've reduced this goal to 12 items. This is quite fun as, in addition to feeling good about minimising clutter and waste, I only acquire things I really want to own and will make good use of.

So ... over the past month I've done a 30 Day Shop Your Wardrobe Challenge. While the challenge is associated with a program aiming to help shopaholics become more conscious about clothes shopping, I enjoyed having a list of prompts reminding me to wear what I already own. I had a bad habit of saving my favourite items 'for best', which meant some dresses and shoes only made it out of the house a couple of times a year. All that has changed. The 30 Day Challenge has seen me combine colours and styles I wouldn't have thought of, wear more accessories (rather than leaving them languishing in drawers), and receive lots of compliments.

Day 4: Wear something that's 'just for good'. Blue shoes!

Cool bananas. It has definitely reminded me to squeeze maximum use (and joy) out of my wardrobe!

Then, last night I attended an event called The Sustainable Wardrobe here in Canberra. Several speakers discussed aspects of clothing sustainability – materials, environmental impact, reusing and recycling, and ways to get more from less  and took some very curly (yet very intelligent) questions from the enraptured audience. I found the evening interesting and thought-provoking and came away with a bunch of new ideas about how to be stylish yet sustainable.

I'm excited about continuing this journey.

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