In an age of mindless consumption, it's difficult to believe that less can be more. We’d all like to believe that we can live an effectively minimalist lifestyle and be all-around good people, but it's not that simple.
Like with every other change, greatness comes from taking baby steps in the right direction and these can start in the comfort of your home, in the closet.
Coined by Susie Faux, the term ‘capsule wardrobe’ describes an organised closet full of quality, long-lasting essentials. Faux's idea of the perfect 'capsule wardrobe' is a collection of around 37 items (excluding sports and work wear) that suit precisely you and your style aesthetics. You will have two or three wardrobes that rotate according to the season that will each consist of around 37 items. The wardrobes can have items that live in every season of the year and items are occasionally replaced. This makes the most out of your wardrobe.
The aim of the capsule wardrobe above the very important issues of sustainability is to end up with a closet that represents you. As Susie Faux states in the blurb of her novel, Wardrobe, a capsule wardrobe aims to teach you ‘how to shop wisely and eliminate impulse buys and expensive mistakes’. It's about getting clothes that work for you and the environment.
The term has had a lot of exposure in the world of fashionistas, as seen through our feeds, overflowing with pictures of immaculately organised closets and flawlessly paired outfits. It's not that difficult to build your own. Here's how:
Plan, plan, plan. This is the fun bit. Here you get to examine what kind of message you want to be sending out, where you want to be shopping and how much you want to be spending.
The starting point is to choose a base colour and an accent colour for your wardrobe. Then, decide on a few patterns and add your favourite layers.
Make sure the wardrobe you’re creating suits you and where you live.
Find out about your local retailers and nail down the brands you don’t want to be supporting so you can avoid them. Establish what you already have for your closet and then decide what you need to make sure you’ve got all of the essentials.
*The essentials checklist*
* These items don’t include underwear, sports and work.*
Clean out and clean up. The number Susie Faux recommends is 37 items. The general rule of thumb is 50 or fewer. In fact, your 50 items should be divided into three categories: suitable for the season, fit well right now and are appropriate for your lifestyle.
Clean out your wardrobe and be harsh about it. Get rid of the things you haven’t worn in 2 years but swear you’ll find a time to wear. Donate, share and repurpose. Put the material to good use but remember this isn’t about reinventing, it’s about curating.
Curate it. Don’t get rid of everything. If it fits you but not the season, store it away safely. The key here is to live in the moment and consume less.
In a capsule wardrobe, the fun starts when you begin remixing. Every season you’ll go back and see what you loved, what you didn’t. Then, begin the cycle again. Bring things out and let things go but the key is to really notice your consumption habits and become more conscious of them.
Enjoy and have fun with it. The important point to remember is that at the end of the day your lifestyle affects the environment and even if you take a step in the right direction by curating down and stopping yourself from shopping on a whim you’re doing yourself, your wallet and the Earth a favour.
These are not meant as rules, simply a guide to help you become more sustainable in your decisions