About a year and a half ago (holy cow) I wrote a post about The True Cost , where I reflected upon the impact of fast fashion on the environment and the people involved in the clothing manufacturing industry.At the time I went through all my clothes to get an idea of how bad I was doing (turned out: pretty bad). During the following months I’ve been revamping my wardrobe with the double goal of getting rid of things I didn’t like/use and moving towards a more ethical collection. I am now proud to announce that I finally got to the point where I love everything I have and have everything I need. So today I went through my wardrobe again to reassess the situation. This is what my wardrobe looks like, plus a couple of other places where I store my clothes:
And below is the final verdict.
NOTE: “Ethical” to me indicates a piece of clothing that either comes from an ethical brand, or I purchased second hand, or it’s a hand-me-down (so it could be from an unethical brand but I haven’t personally purchased it).
Sweaters Total: 19 Ethical: 9 Unethical: 10 Not sure: - Hoodies Total: 4 (plus 1 I’m not sure I want to keep) Ethical: - Unethical: 1 Not sure: 4 Sweaters I lounge around in Total: 4 (plus 2 I’m not sure I want to keep) Ethical: 3 Unethical: - Not sure: 3 Dresses Total: 2 for winter, 3 for summer, 3 for both Ethical: 1 Unethical: 5 Not sure: 1 (Go me, I used to have 12 dresses that I never used!) Skirts Total: 3 Ethical: 2 Unethical: 1 Not sure: - Shorts Total: 2 plus a pair of dungarees Ethical: 2 Unethical: 1 Not sure: - Flannels Total: 2 Ethical: 1 Unethical: 1 Not sure: - T-shirts (short sleeves) Total: 12 (plus 2 for work) Ethical: 5 + 2 Unethical: 4 Not sure: 3 (I used to have 43 t-shirts! Forty three!)
Tops (long sleeves) Total: 7 Ethical: 4 Unethical: 1 Not sure: 2 Tank tops Total: 7 Ethical: 2 Unethical: 3 Not sure: 2 Jeans Total: 4 Ethical: 2 Unethical: 2 Not sure: - Other pants Total: 5 pair of leggings (2 ethical and 3 unethical), 2 pairs of harem pants (not sure), 2 pairs of lounge pants (one ethical, one not sure)
Not listed: underwear, sportswear, ski stuff, coats and jackets, shoes.
Last year I owned 39 pieces of unethically produced clothes out of 89 pieces of clothing in total. As of today, both numbers went down: 29 out of 48 pieces of clothing I own are unethically produced. In more mathematical terms, I went from 43% to 60% of my entire wardrobe being unethically produced. As bad as this sound, the reason behind these numbers is not me purchasing unethical clothes, but me getting rid of ethical ones. (Although well, I guess I did buy a couple of sweaters from H&M.) As I went through my decluttering process, I found that lots of items I purchased second hand were not in good conditions or the quality was quite poor, whereas most of my favourite clothes are - alas - from unethical brands. I don’t want to keep something just because it’s second hand, I’d rather stick to the clothes I love most until they last, and purchase second-hand replacements only when the original ones are falling apart. All in all, I’m happy about my wardrobe now: I have everything I need, and everything I have I love.I don’t have any desire to buy new clothes nor to let go of anything (except a couple of things that are already in my “Maybe” pile). It took me years to get to this point, and it might not be the more sustainable collections of clothes ever, but it is the best I have ever done, so perhaps it means I can stop spending hours in my closet getting rid of stuff. Success!