Did you know that fast fashion brands (like those popular U.S. and European brands with huge stores in our local malls) are contributing to the world's growing waste problems? (According this news article from late 2016, 80% of clothing waste from discarded "fast fashion" ends up in landfills worldwide!)
OK, but what does this have to do with our recommendation for a closet detox?
In choosing clothes that will serve us for a long time, we can make more conscious choices over just what is trendy. This way, our detoxing isn't just a "changing of the guards" type of thing, where we simply discard only to buy new clothes on a whim. Being mindful about what we buy and what we wear can help us to be better stewards of this Earth. (We know; sounds deep, but as you can see, very true!)
Here are some detoxing tips for your closet that you might consider as a regular practice.
1. Before purging, sort and plan.
Take all the clothes out of your closet and ask yourself the following questions while you sort them:
- Do I really enjoy wearing this, at this point?
- Does this piece look good on me, or could it be improved/tailored?
- Do any of these need repairing?
- Will I use this in the next six months or so?
For clothes that you're sure you enjoy, place them back in your closet.
For clothes that need repairs, place in a pile marked "Repair."
For those you no longer wish to keep, put in a box marked "Donate."
For seasonal clothes, you might want to give some away or sell as second-hand, otherwise carefully store them against humidity and place them in a dry storage space apart from the clothes you enjoy.
2. Discard of your "donate" clothes mindfully.
We already know that simply discarding our clothes might contribute to the growing problem of clothing waste. So instead of donating the clothes we don't want for the sake of getting rid of them, let's look where we can give our clothes where they'll be put to better use. You can look up socially-conscious businesses locally and see if they accept garments for repurposing. (We know for a fact that The Appraisary in Cubao Expo, H&M branches nationwide, and the Virlanie Foundation take clothing dontations.) Knowing that you would have donated your clothes for a cause will also make your closet detox a more purposeful experience.
3. Consider your lifestyle vs. the clothes you already have...
... and keep your lifestyle in mind for the clothes you could buy. A closet detox isn't complete unless you have all the basics you need for you to build a wardrobe that is high-quality, sustainable and one that you love.
So first, consider your lifestyle. If halter tops don't go with your lifestyle as a creative freelancer, then don't stock up them just because they were on "buy 1, take 2" promo. Consider your mobile lifestyle: you need a good jacket, for when you meet clients, and possibly some hardy slacks and tops that'll support your moving around.
If you're a career person in corporate, you'll need some proper basics, so that you can dress down or spiffy up, as needed. Don't be afraid to invest in a high-quality black dress, for instance: go for the cut, the awesome material, yes, sometimes even the name. (If the brand supports sustainable and fair trade policies in their manufacturing, better.)
So, as you can see, a closet detox isn't simply a purge and go habit. It's really about building your wardrobe around a belief that "we are what we wear," and that what we wear can say a lot about the choices we make. So plan, sort, keep, give away, then add mindfully to your closet.