April 13, 2024

ethical fashion

If you’re paying attention to the world around you it’s highly likely your internal alarm bells are permanently set to PANIC. I know mine are. There’s so much happening and it feels like most of it is out of my control. Sure I donate, sign petitions, and do other fun activist stuff, but it never feels like enough. Every day I listen to the news and my feelings of utter despair and horror grow to new heights. It’s a tough feeling, the world spinning out of your control.

And last week, I decided enough was enough. I might not be able to create my dream world out there, but I do have control of my closet and let me tell you I’d about had it up to here with a closet that doesn’t meet my standards. Mediocrity, clothes that were meh, no longer cut it for me. I only want things that make my heart sing. Clothing is how I express and heal myself and if now isn’t the time for that I don’t know when is. It was time to purge baby.

I took a long hard look at everything I own and was horrified at the sheer number of pieces that I felt lukewarm about. Why was I holding on to a cute red dress worn only once to an Oscar after-party 4 years ago? I’m never going to wear it again. Or that vintage nightgown? Sure it’s beautiful, but I’ve never even worn it because the old-school polyester makes me sweat. There were shorts that were too short, tshirts that were too pilly, and one button down that drove me crazy because the sleeves would never hold a cuff.

Enough was enough.

I needed to purge responsibly though. The average American throws away a whopping 82 pounds of clothing every year. Most of that ends up in a landfill (yes, even if you take it to Goodwill), and this compassionate fashionista refuses to be a part of that statistic. The sentiment behind donating clothes is beautiful, but unfortunately we have way too many clothes in the market and most of the clothes we donate will never reach people who actually need them. If we really want to help Mama Earth, we have to better alternatives to donation. Which left me with a conundrum. How the heck do I get rid of all this stuff and be environmentally conscious?


Deciding what to get rid of was the easiest part for me. I love the Marie Kondo method of asking if something sparks joy and was able to quickly go through and sort through my closet. It’s really simple. Hold up a piece of clothing. If it makes you happy, keep it. See? Easy! I prefer this to the question of when was the last time I wore it, because our style ebbs and flows. I can’t tell you the number of items I have that I won’t wear for years, but then all of a sudden I …