Guilt was getting the best of me. Guilt about my clothing and spending choices in the past. Sure, mom’s often have to “grab and buy” sometimes (and return later) but we need to start buying for practicality, sourcing, and taking the time to find pieces that bring us joy.
I listened to a How Stuff Works podcast recently that discussed whether material objects or experiences bring us more long-term joy. Which do you think proved more effective at long-term happiness?
We are a quick fix society- buying fast food in the same amount of time it would have taken to go home and make a sandwich or salad- and it’s killing us physically, emotionally, and spiritually. If that sounds dramatic to you, I dare you to examine your habits more.
I had to do some major soul searching over the past year in regards to purchasing and what truly satisfies the lifestyle I wish my family to lead. We are not wearing burlap sacks either; I like a pretty top just as most women do! It’s healthy to feel beautiful, cute, or sexy in your clothing.
The temporary “shopping fix” is not healthy and as women it is important we don’t use shopping as a coping tool for a bad mood or a stressful day. Perhaps we should be doing something more constructive with our bad moods (a long jog or walk), journal, or scrapbook, anything except consuming for sport. It’s when we overspend and justify that we are “treating ourselves” and later the guilt- it’s not worth it ladies!
I don’t want to be an over consumer and use cleaning my closet as any excuse to start a brand new wardrobe. I don’t want to contribute to the global catastrophes like Rana Plaza’s building collapse or turn a blind eye to manufacturers that outsource their labor and do not pair fair wages or manufacture in unsafe working conditions.
I will not be 100% fair trade, organic, or entirely made in the USA by the end of 2016 but I’m working on it for my own wardrobe anyway. It’s a start. I’ve found a few Etzy shops I wish to buy from for casual wear: Grow More, Nicandthenewfie, and Uzura. For now, I have all that I NEED and that makes me very satisfied and thankful. Cleaning my closet helped me realize this. My husband thought it appeared sparse, I felt… cleansed.
I want to put my dollars towards companies that source for clothing and materials where laborers are fairly treated and paid. Rana Plaza collapsed due to building structure failure and overcrowding; over 1,100 people lost their lives and another 2,500 pulled from the wreckage.  The footage is disturbing.
When you hear accounts that workers in the building had brought up concerns about safety prior to the collapse, it’s even more disturbing. Our culture of cheaper is better needs reinvented. We need to re-invest in quality.
You will pay more for quality. I feel the same way about organic food. I’m ecstatic to contribute more to causes and fair trade initiatives with my purchasing dollars.
How Do I Create My Minimalist Closet?
Remove all items from your closet. Sort into piles by category (casual tops, work blouse, work pants, jeans, dresses) on your bed. Start pulling items from each pile and ask yourself these 4 questions:
- Does this item bring me joy?
- Have I worn it in the past year? (more than once)
- Does it fit me properly?
- Is it too worn to wear to work? If not wearing to work will it be worn on the weekend?
Promptly toss into the donate pile and do not revisit. I kept two items I will probably never wear again but due to sentimental value I kept them. However, I threw away plenty that did hold some nostalgia.
Below is a graphic to help you with your Minimalist Closet Makeover! Obviously, I have certain tastes and colors I prefer (mauve, blue, black, grey, and deep burgundy colors, floral and polka dot prints, classic cut dresses and silky blouses). You could replace floral prints with geometric prints or the plaid pants with striped pants.
You may choose to start putting your money towards products that will benefit your health and lifestyle. Shirts made from organic cotton or bamboo and shipped in recycled shipping boxes are a good start.
A few Amazon links are below to get you started online, or find a locally owned boutique or fair trade store like Global Gifts to visit. You may just find your new favorite necklace, shirt, or purse!
100% Certified Organic Cotton and eco-friendly dyes. Free of pesticides and toxins, produced without the use of harsh chemical bleaches or dyes, and are allergy free.. Proudly made in the USA.
April 23, 2014. Kennedy, Bruce. The Bangladesh Factory Collapse one year later. www.cbsnews.com