Decluttering my closet

Tips for a reduced wardrobe

It’s a reoccurring phenomenon: Every spring people feel the urge to do a spring clean and free themselves from unwanted things that clutter their life. Just like many others, I felt the need to sort out my closet.

The problem with my closet

When I watch all the decluttering my closet videos on YouTube, I still feel quite sensible with my amount of clothes. Compared to those walk in closets, my wardrobe looks quite tiny. However, I just don’t need as many clothes and can’t even wear them all.

Why do I do this?

In my opinion, I do have a big closet and it is full. I even have troubles fitting everything in. During the past year, I discovered minimalism and it is something I want to incorporate more into my lifestyle. So far, I haven’t really minimalised my belongings and I don’t want to reduce them to a certain number. At this point, I want to reduce my clothes to the pieces I really wear, need and like. I don’t need five cream sweaters! So I came up with some tips to get a minimalised wardrobe that represents your style and makes you truly happy.

Does it still fit?

The best way to sort out your closet is by trying everything on and making sure that it still fits you. Do not keep those jeans that are way too tiny, but you keep them just in case you might lose weight again. Clothes that we don’t wear only takes up space in our closet which could otherwise be used better and filled with clothes that you really like and wear.

Does it suit you?

Does a piece of clothing suit you and do you feel comfortable in it? Does it complement your features? If something doesn’t suit me, I won’t wear it. I will only intend to wear it but then change into something else. You can easily throw these pieces out of your wardrobe.

Do you like it?

Do you even like everything that is in your closet? Are there some pieces that have negative connotations for you? If it doesn’t make you happy, get rid of it!

When have you last worn it?

This is a question that you have to be really honest with you. I own a lot of clothing pieces that I really like and think they are cool, but I have never or rarely worn it. Like that velvet jumper I never found the occasion to wear. I recommend to get rid of those pieces even if you like them. If you have never worn it there might be something wrong with it and there is no point of keeping it.

What to do with the clothes?

So, after you went through your whole closet piece by piece, you might end up with a huge pile of clothing. The next step is to get rid of these things. In my opinion there are two options. Donate or sell. Donating might be the easiest and quickest way. I try selling first but so far, I haven’t been really successful. Ripped or washed out clothes you could throw away or reuse as a cloth for cleaning.

What you shouldn’t do

I hate it when YouTubers upload a “decluttering my closet” video and two weeks later that upload a huge haul. If your reason for sorting out the closet is trying out a more minimal lifestyle, then don’t buy new things afterwards. Instead, enjoy the newly won space in your wardrobe and how easy it is to look through your beloved clothing pieces!

If you’re interested in general advice on how to reduce your fashion consumerism, you should check out this blog post!

#haulternative

Reconsidering fast fashion and setting an example

Most people know that cheap fast fashion is produced neither ethically nor fair. The collapse of the Rana Plaza building in 2013, which led to the deaths of over 1000 people, demonstrated that in a most alarming way. For many people it was a sad wake-up call. It also marks the start of the Fashion Revolution. It’s a movement that fights against the bad working conditions in the fashion industry and also calls attention to the environmental consequences of that industry.

Low wages and bad working conditions for a 5€ t-shirt

To be honest, I never really thought about the consequences of my fashion consumerism until I came across the documentary “The True Cost”. Of course I knew, that a t-shirt for 5€ cannot be sustainable nor fair. We have all seen the devastating photos of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. It is not a secret that the wages of the workers are extremely low and the working conditions are extremely bad. But have I changed since? No, because it never affected me! That’s what “The True Cost” gets so damn right. It is moving and also educating. Afterwards, I really felt the need to change and was also kind of ashamed of my behaviour. That is why, I take part in the fashion revolution week. I want to draw attention to an important topic and maybe cause some people to reconsider the fashion industry.

On the website of the Fashion Revolution you can find a lot of different ways to take action and be a part of the movement. One of these possibilities is the #haulternative. As you might know when you’re a constant follower of mine, I’m currently on a shopping ban, so I do not shop anything at the moment. And you don’t need to buy new things to update your wardrobe.

Try second hand!

It is a great way to extend the life cycle of clothes and you can prevent them from landing in landfill. I haven’t bought anything second hand in a while, because I really don’t need anything, but I am a huge fan of charity shops and online platforms like Kleiderkreisel, or Kleiderkorb. These are German websites but I am sure there are similar websites in every country. Currently, I am sorting out my closet and selling the things online. So far I am not very successful but I hope that my unloved clothing pieces will make someone else happy soon.

Fall in love again

£285 of clothes. That’s the amount of clothes an average British woman hoards but will never wear. Before you buy something new think of this and look through your wardrobe. Maybe there are long forgotten treasures you might fall in love with. I am currently trying on all the unworn pieces and I try to figure out if I actually like them.

Bad working conditions don’t affect me, so why care?

Humans are supposed to be the superior species. So why is it, that we treat each other and our environment so horribly? Even if the bad working conditions don’t affect you specifically, shouldn’t we care for our fellow humans? Isn’t empathy what is supposedly differentiating us from animals? But even if you don’t reconsider the fashion industry for the sake of the workers in Bangladesh, you should change your behaviour for the sake of the planet, our home. Our earth is not made for the massive consumerism we are burdening it with. Much of the clothing we buy gets thrown away without being worn once. Pesticides used on cotton plantages are polluting our environment. 2720 litres of water are needed to make a t-shirt. Humans are destroying the only home they have and it is on us to take action now! Better late than never.

How can you do more?

  • Be curious! Inform yourself, check out Fashion Revolution and watch “The True Cost”. It’s so informative and shaking!
  • Spread the word! Tell your friends and family about fashion revolution, but do not lecture them! In my opinion lecturing someone can often lead to the contrary effect.
  • Also, check out my blog post on how buy less and how to buy better! Reducing your consumerism and buying things that you will wear not just for one season also sets an example for ethical fashion and against the fast fashion industry!