Slow Fashion & Minimalist Wardrobes
by Vivian Morellon
New clothes, who doesn’t like them? In fact, there’s a whole industry dedicated to quickly pushing product. Weekly sales, new arrivals and limited time promotions flood our inboxes and saturate store windows. It’s called Fast Fashion and it has made it too easy to buy A LOT for CHEAP. Sure, we quickly rotate through “changing” trends but we end up choosing quantity over quality and shorten the lifecycle of our clothes.
Enter the opposite: Slow Fashion.
Instead of disposable clothes full of chemicals, slow fashion is ethical, environmentally sustainable and long-lasting. It changes the mindset to conscious consumption and creation, making it both a social and environmental movement.
How legit is slow fashion though if we are still producing and consuming? They key in recognizing slow fashion is to identify its 3 components: ethical, eco-friendly and long-lasting.
Ethical deals with the fair and respectful treatment of people and animals. This means fair wages, safe conditions, health benefits, humane treatment of animals or even being vegan.
Eco-friendly as in minimizing manufacturing’s impact on the environment. This means treating water before it’s dumped into rivers, avoiding harsh chemicals that seep into our air and (again) water sources, and using eco-friendly materials and dyes throughout the supply chain (to name a few examples).
Finally, long-lasting pieces. From an economic perspective, this is intelligent consumption at its finest, simply invest more in high-quality pieces that will survive through years and years of rotation (très French). To be considered long lasting pieces are usually of high quality materials, are smartly constructed and are a classic design so as to not pass out of trend in 6 months. Think of your sturdiest jeans, your classic white tee and your little black dress and what do they all have in common? They are all staples that never go out of style! So if pieces like this will always be needed in your closet, why not invest in them and expand their lifetime?
Long lasting and sustainable; de-clutter and buy selectively. This brings up another concept: MINIMALIST WARDROBES.
Pretty self-explanatory but minimalist wardrobes rid us of non-essentials and allow us to hone in our style and tailor our closet. It’s a scary concept because it means no impulse shopping but NTCH is here to gently transition you into a “less is more” lifestyle. Below are four of the easiest ways to slowly adopt this lifestyle.
The Closet Hanger Method
Thanks for making this one viral Oprah! The closet hanger method is easily the less time-consuming way to separate essentials from fluff. Here’s how it work:
Hang all the pieces you like on hangers, yes even jeans.
Turn all the hangers the opposite way, hooks facing you (or whichever way feels opposite to you).
As you use items and place them back in your closet turn the hangers how you normally would.
After 6 months, whatever items remain on the wrong-facing hangers are officially not part of your rotation.
Don’t throw them, thats not sustainable either! Box them up and save, sell, gift or donate them.
Created by Marie Kondo and introduced in her best-seller book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”, the Konmari method works by de-cluttering items based on one question “does it spark joy?” We’re a fan of this method because it’s a mindful approach to what you value and enjoy, taking you on a little trip of self-discovery.
With the Konmari method you are encouraged to de-clutter by category, starting with clothes, working through books and miscellaneous and finishing with the sentimental items. All throughout this process Konmari encourages us to be introspective and evaluate the use of each item in our lives. The goal is not to discard the most but to hold on to what truly makes us happy.
While this is practiced with all items throughout our living spaces it can be applied to just our wardrobes. What do we love 100% ?
At the start of each new season, pick 10 pieces (includes shoes but not accessories).
Survive 10 days without adding anything new.
Rely (heavily) on accessories.
At the end of the 10 days you’ll have a better sense of what you need or (if necessary) what to look for when you shop (no more impulse buys!).
The goal is to quickly hone in your style and establish your essentials. This method helps you transition into a full minimalist wardrobe-think of it as a 10 day sample before truly committing.
Created by Courtney Carver of ‘Be More With Less’, Project 333 is the minimalist challenge where you pick 33 items (or less) and only use those for 3 months. Yeah, I didn’t want to scare you so I saved the most drastic one for last.
Here are the rules:
The 33 items include shoes, accessories and outerwear (PJs, workout clothes and underwear don’t count).
Choose your 33 items and box up the rest!
At the end of the 3 months open up that box. After 3 months of clothing starvation you’ll realize what other pieces are KEY and which ones you even forgot about.
Donate, sell or gift the pieces you forgot … you really don’t need them in your closet if you survived months without thinking about them.
The end goal? Investing time and thought into selecting pieces and trends that are true to your style. Slow fashion and minimalist dressing helps you put thought and heart into how you shop.