After my 31 day series last October of wearing only ten items all month and blogging about ethical fashion, I set a goal of downsizing my wardrobe to 100 items. To recap, when I started the series, I counted all the clothing in my drawers and closet except for socks and underwear, and came to a total of 354. By the end of the month, that number had dropped to 252. My goals going forward were as follows:
- I’ll look for fair trade products first.
- If a fair trade option isn’t available, I’ll look for a used item from thrift stores or eBay.
- If I can’t find it there, I’ll buy it from a company that has a higher Free2Work grade or is made in the USA/Canada/Europe.
- I’ll buy less so that I can buy better.
- I will invest in multi-tasking pieces and high quality ethically made products that will stand the test of time.
- I’ll continue to go through all of my clothes every season and objectively pare it down.
- My goal is to shrink my closet down to 100 items. I’ll continue to sell off and donate my clothing, anytime I buy or receive clothing as a gift, something else has to go. That’s going to be really hard.
- I will be a conscious consumer, thinking about the people behind the barcode who are affected by my purchasing decisions.
“I pledge to consume responsibly. I recognize that as a consumer, my buying power matters. I understand that each product I purchase plays a role in a larger narrative, affecting the life of an individual. Because of this, I will do my best to purchase products that have been made by hands that are treated fairly. I will seek to support supply chains that treat farmers and workers fairly and demand the assurance that items I buy have been made responsibly from start to finish. This means no tolerance for child or slave labor, dangerous working conditions or substandard pay. I will no longer support systems of oppression and will insist that companies I trust operate with a conscience.”
So, now it’s February, four months later, and time for an update!
It’s still hard to buy less so that I can buy better. It’s also still hard to get out of the mindset of just buying cheap clothes because they’re a good deal, when A, I don’t need them, and B, there’s a very high chance they’re made in less than desirable conditions. I’m still learning to rethink how I view pricing, and realize that cheaper prices often mean less pay for those involved in making it.
- The total from selling my clothes and a few donations from friends on eBay came to $81! After fees and shipping costs, all the rest was donated to Polaris Project, 4 the 1, and Not For Sale!
- 108. The new total of clothing items in my wardrobe!!!