Every year, each North American sends 82 pounds of textile waste to landfills. On average we buy 64 items of clothing per year, up from just nine outfits in the 30’s. Clothing used to be good quality and cost more so people chose classic pieces they could pair easily and wear for years. Clothing today is poor quality and costs less so we buy and toss more than ever before. Sounding familiar? This new consumer behaviour is costing us big money and filling landfills. What do we do?
Build a capsule wardrobe! In a nutshell, a capsule wardrobe is a carefully curated selection of seasonally-appropriate, good-quality items of clothing that fit well, represent your style, and work together to create outfits for any occasion. Generally speaking, you don’t shop between seasons and you swap out items as needed- about four times a year. It’s also the coolest funnest way to protest the fast-fashion industry because you still get to shop! Ok well that makes it cool and fun to me anyway… It may seem regimented and time-consuming but I ask you: isn’t it worth the extra time if it means a closet full of clothing that makes you feel great?
Our short-term relationship with clothes means we never have to think of our wardrobe as a whole. We buy a new outfit for every occasion and barely pay attention to stuff like how comfortable it is, if it’s scratchy, layers well, or is a flattering cut. Has anyone else ever brought home a hat that’ll never see the light of day? As a result, most of us don’t feel great in our clothes and find our wardrobe doesn’t reflect our personal style. Too often we just default to the same three tops on repeat.
A capsule wardrobe is a solution to all of that and more! Have you ever chosen an outfit to influence the impression you make on a first date? A job interview? A bank meeting? Of course! We know the way we dress sends messages about who we are and how we expect to be treated and they aren’t limited to first dates and job interviews. It’s happening all the time and you might find you’re more comfortable confident in clothes you like, that fit well, and represent you. After all, how comfortable and confident can you really be while you’re wondering if you’re pulling off that hat?
Aside from the awesome personal benefits of a capsule wardrobe, you can feel good about living a little lighter on the world. That’s because you’ll be shopping less. A lot less. Down from the 64 items of the average North American, you’ll be picking up about 12 pieces a year. And no more hats of shame!
And there you have it: an easy way to dip your toe into conscious consumerism- and better clothes! Once you’ve got your style down and you’re loving this capsule wardrobe thing, why not buy the cashmere sweater that’s next on your list from an environmentally responsible brand?