On my quest to owning less stuff, I’ve been mulling over how to reconcile my minimalism journey with designing a bunch of clothes when the world doesn’t really need any more clothing. I know for a fact that I don’t need any more clothes. I’ve embraced minimalism and its freedoms, shirking off any self-imposed guilt of not keeping up with ever changing trends and fads. And now to the question of how to practice my craft while remaining committed to my core values of maintaining a minimal wardrobe.
I have been alive long enough to notice the decline in the quality of the material and fabric used to make the clothes we currently buy. The designs are more versatile but the quality leaves a lot to be desired; they don’t make them like they used to. I’ve known the cost to the consumer in that we’d have to re-purchase clothes more frequently, but I have been blind to the true costs, over and above monetary considerations –till recently. Knowing I’m preparing to get back into the foray of fashion, I watched the aptly titled Netflix movie ‘The True Cost’. Since then, I have learnt a whole lot about the effects of fast fashion and the dangers of measuring only the bottom line while leaving an irreparably high carbon footprint behind.
My wardrobe consists of clothes I’ve had for a decade or two. In a sense, I’ve always understood old is gold. I purged my closet several months ago when I embarked on my deliberate minimalism journey, but even then I only let go of my more recent purchases. As fashion offenses go, nothings irritates me more than seeing a lovely design piece in the store, then reaching for it only to encounter that feel of cheap fabric. It reminds me of that ‘lipstick on a pig’ quip –why bother?
I’m glad I’m blessed with the gift of designing my own outfits as this gives me control over the whole process from fabric choice all the way to the quality of the thread used. I imagine fast fashion will always be a vice for big business as they look to increase their profit margins and beef up their bottom line. As for me, I’ve always abhorred trends. For instance, I’ve never owned a pair of ripped jeans in all the years it’s come back in fashion again and again. And I’ll never own anything that has sleeves yet leaves my shoulders bare, no offense to anyone that loves this particular type of design. I’ve always stuck to classics, basics, durables; trends have never been my vice.
In my own small way, I endeavour to create slow fashion (the opposite of fast fashion) where the focus is on quality and longevity at a much slower production schedule while paying fair wages and leaving a much lower carbon footprint, and inasmuch as is possible, zero waste. Slow fashion encourages second-hand vintage shopping, recycling, leasing or swapping clothes and the emergence of independent designers. It also encourages preserving traditional methods of textile and garment making and dyeing technique, not just for the value-added backstory, but also for the sake of people and the environment.
As I continue to purge my closet to fit my minimalistic lifestyle, I plan on selling my clothes on eBay or on my Poshmark account to keep my wardrobe to a manageable size. Can I possibly engage in sustainable fashion production in such a manner as to not increase the size of my carbon footprint on the globe in the race against time over issues such as climate change and global warming? I can only answer that if I try.
Below find a video I did on the same topic on my YouTube channel -cheers!! Grey ღ