Sustainable Fashion

Nicole Voris

Last week Emma Watson brought attention to eco friendly fashion by wearing a dress made from recycled plastic bottles to the Met Gala.  I thought it was so cool to see a celebrity, people known for wearing outfits only once, to bring attention to the idea of sustainable reusable fashion.  She and Calvin Klein worked with the company Eco Age to bring attention to this issue.  I've seen some people argue that it actually uses a lot of resources to make plastic water bottles into fabric.  It's better to use organic materials.  I understand that point and I think we should all make the switch to nice reusable glass bottles so there isn't plastic bottle waste!  I think her using this fabric brought more attention since the headline "Emma Watson's dress made out of trash!" could be used. 

 Emma Watson's Met Gala Calvin Klein dress.  Photo: Venturelli/FilmMagic

Emma Watson's Met Gala Calvin Klein dress.

Photo: Venturelli/FilmMagic

My favorite concept that the company Eco Age promotes is the 30 wears concept.  The idea that you should only buy an item if you commit to wearing it thirty times.  I love this idea, and if you love it enough to wear it thirty times, I imagine that you'll love it enough to wear it 100.  

Anyway,  this concept gave me the idea to tell you guys about my wardrobe.  When Oliver and I lived in Texas we had a 900 square foot apartment with a walk in closet plus two more additional hall closets.  It didn't feel like we had that much stuff and before we moved we took multiple full car loads to goodwill.  

When we got to Los Angeles we moved into a 470 square foot apartment with one hall closet. It was stressful trying to make everything fit, but we made it work.  This made me realize how much stuff we had that we didn't even particularly like,  much less love!  Over the last year and a half we have embraced minimalism throughout our life.  For this post I will specifically focus on my wardrobe.

I realized that I owned a lot of items of clothing that I felt meh about.  I didn't like them and I didn't like how I felt in them, but I kept them because I felt like a "should."  It's weird when we get tied up to items because they were gifts, hand me downs, we spent money on them and feel guilty, or have weird sentimental attachments.  The fact was that I really didn't like my clothes despite my closet being packed to the brim.

In a backwards move the first thing I did was start to buy items.  I started to shop online and figure out my personal style.  I didn't buy everything at once, but I started to curate nice pieces that I could pair with my new style as well as old items I still liked.  For birthdays and holidays I would ask for specific pieces and my family so kindly obliged.   

While I was curating this new wardrobe that I LOVED, I was donating like crazy.  There's the "one in one out" rule where you can only buy something if you donate something else.  I was probably doing more of a "one in five out" rule. I took almost everything to the goodwill down the street where I hope someone else will love the items!

My wardrobe is much smaller now.  I have three dresser drawers, three shelves on our shoe unit, and about 2 1/2 feet of closet space.  That includes all my dance clothes, pointe shoes, and my wedding dress!  Now I love all my clothes and don't feel a need to shop because I don't want or need anything.

Photo by @aestheteandderive - Blue cocktail dress that was once my mom's

MUA by Dawn Sorenson

My advice if you want to pair down your wardrobe and make it more sustainable:

1. "Shop your closet"  Go through and take out the things that you absolutely love.  Go through what is left, if you don't love it donate it.

2.  Rebuild you wardrobe with pieces that go together and mix and match.  Buy high quality items that will last a long time.  A few of my favorite items of clothing were actually my mother's and grandmother's.  I often wear a blazer and maxi skirt that were my grandmother's and a pair of red cowboy boots and a blue cocktail dress that were my mom's. Nice classic pieces can last thirty plus years!

3.  Follow the 30 wears rule.  Only buy things you LOVE.  If you don't love it wait until you find something you do.

4.  Take care of your wardrobe.  Repair items instead of throwing them away.  Follow washing instructions. (You don't necessarily have to wash something after only one wear).  Get things tailored if you want a different fit.

5. Wear it!  I used to have a bad habit of "saving" my favorite outfits for a good day to wear them. If you want to wear the outfit wear it now.  If you love all your clothes you'll always have a nice outfit you love wearing.

6.  Buy second hand.  This is a rule I am now trying harder to follow.  I am not buying any new items in the near future, but next time I need something I will check second hand stores first. Just because someone didn't LOVE that item doesn't mean I won't.

7.  Finally some inspo.  (not my closet)