Shopping is therapeutic. It is a way of starting over or even turning a new page in life. It is more than just buying, but a sense of satisfaction. More often than not, a guilty pleasure. However as much we love to shop, fast fashion can have lasting effects on the planet.
Sustainable living is more than just a trendy statement; it’s the ideal way of life. Sustainable and ethical living should be practiced by us all to preserve and protect the world for many future generations. When it comes to fashion, many brands are now taking an eco-friendly turn, including fashion giants such as Chanel and Dior. Creating a capsule wardrobe is a great method of organizing your closet while not contributing to the fast fashion movement. After all, less is more!
We collaborated with Christeen Silva, the founder of Absolute to give you a few hacks and tips in understanding what’s ethical and sustainable clothing and how to create a capsule wardrobe.
Christeen defines ‘ethical’ as upholding integrity whether it's Fashion or otherwise. It’s about being fair to our surroundings. The living breathing planet and all humans in the supply chain and not only the brands and the customers. It’s about moving away from the practices which focus only on what’s the next new design, how cheaply can we make it and how fast can we get it to our shelves, ignoring the people involved in the process. Ethical Clothing is garments that were made with care making sure the process of producing clothing is just as important as selling them.
“Every good or bad cycle is bigger than one person or party. All of us actively or ignorantly participate in it, no matter our role. Brands have a responsibility to be sustainable in their practices. At the same time, all of us as consumers are a part of the industry and we have the power to make or break it. By purchasing something, or more of something we send out the message to brands that we support their products. Similarly, the day we stop purchasing something, there will no longer be an industry. Or that industry will be a struggling one. Not just fashion, any other industry for that matter.” says Christeen.
She adds on saying that more we say no to garments that were made fast, without taking into consideration the impact it had on the planet or ensuring fair wages to its workforce, they will be forced to produce less or decide to shift their perspective. Ethical consumerism or being sustainable in your consumption is a lot more powerful than one might think or stop to realize.
Sustainability is here to stay. With it, sustainable consumerism and conscious consumers.
Christeen calls a capsule wardrobe, a smaller wardrobe that has clothing that compliments one another, allowing you to create multiple looks, making you feel ready for any occasion, saving you time as well as money, and most importantly one that you end up wearing.
“We have all been there, and are still somewhat there. How many items do we find in our wardrobes that we didn’t even know existed? We have way too many items in our closets, which doesn’t still stop us from saying ‘I have nothing to wear’” says Christeen.
A capsule wardrobe is different from person to person and takes time to build. The most important thing about a capsule wardrobe is that you know what you own; from every item to every silhouette and every shade of colour.
Christeen: Keep in mind is that you are doing this because you need a change from all the clutter and to create a wardrobe that works for you. End of the day, you need to be excited to wear what you own. Fashion is a form of expression. For some of us, it’s more than functional. So if you don’t build a closet that you are going to be excited about, why even make it?
There are plenty of rules - if you go online, you can read from multiple articles. Even from sustainable brands like ours. You must adapt them according to your taste, where you live and your budget.
Here are a few steps to start building your capsule wardrobe:
Go through items one by one & identity items that you love. Separate the ones that you no longer like, though you loved them when you purchased them back then. Often when you purchase something because it was trendy at the time, when the trend passes by in a matter of weeks or even days, you tend to lose interest. Take a stock of what you currently have, what works for you, what you want to carry forward, what you must never buy again. Decluttering is a good first step to start with.
Ask yourself what your style statement is. Try things and figure out the shapes/silhouettes that compliment your body type. Pick colours that you love, that you know will make you happy when you wear them. Don’t hesitate to experiment but do it responsibly.
Make up your mind and say bye to any silhouette or colour that doesn’t work for you. Not to tell you what you can’t do, but chances are if they don’t compliment you, they don’t make you any happier.
Pick those timeless pieces, the basics that you can wear to create looks that won’t go out of style. And then a few signature pieces to elevate them. Invest in higher-quality pieces that will last for a long time and survive at least 30 washes. Fleeting trends are a no-no. Think about it. Have they served you that well in the past?
Divide your wardrobe into sections according to occasions such as work, gym, vacation, casual and list down your most essential items such as shirts, blazers, simple dresses, cotton pants, casual t-shirts, cardigans and slips. Cotton, silks, denim and linens are musts because they are suitable for our tropical climate.
Give yourself and your ideal wardrobe time. Unless it’s a big-budget movie (despite my above normal love for movies), in real life, things don’t have to look perfect, to begin with.
We thank Christeen for collaborating with Hi!! and sharing her insights on how to live responsibly and sustainably. Do check out their amazing collections of basics that would be perfect for your capsule wardrobe.