There is a dearth of research in reports about exactly how big fashion’s impact on the environment is. We hardly need precise numbers quoting that “10% of all global warming emissions result from the fashion industry” to comprehend the challenge. We have read statistics that each year more than 10 millions tons of clothing ends up in landfills in the US, that the production of polyester and other synthetic fabrics is an energy-intensive process that requires huge amounts of crude oil and releases compounds that cause respiratory diseases, and that a fashion executive makes during a single lunch break what a garment worker in Dhaka makes in 18 months! And even should we question reports that do not cite their sources, we have undeniable tragedies like the Rana Plaza building collapse to remind us of how deeply detrimental irresponsibility in fashion can be.
At Yakutti, we work with brands for the value they contribute to their local communities, for their social missions, for the responsibility in their supply chains. Below, find more tips for how to move towards a wardrobe that is ethical and responsible, we call it an ethical capsule wardrobe.
1. Know Your Fabrics
Not all clothing textiles are created equally. Man-made synthetic fabrics like polyester are not biodegradable, so eventually they end up on landfill sites. Choose clothing made of organic, natural fibers like wool, linen, and organic cotton. Linen, in particular, is made of flax fibers that make it breathable and super-absorbent.
Demand accountability from brands you buy from, and boycott brands whose values differ from yours. Learn as much as you can about the supply chains of the brands you buy from, and contact customer support if the information you are looking for is not publicly available. You are in charge — you wallet, your vote, your choice
A subsequent implication from building an habit of questioning brands, is that your rate of shopping for items you do not need also increases since shopping becomes a time-consuming intellectual and fact-finding process, but oh so totally worth it!
3. Value fashion over fast fashion, quality over quantity
True, a trip to Primark results in bagfuls of new exciting additions, but over time, you’ve probably discovered that the excitement wears out fast, and you still end up never wearing most outfits in your closet.
Buy less for more — pay attention to outfits you wear most of in order to define a personal style, purchase high quality outfits that fit this personal style from brands with responsible value chains, study your clothes’ care labels and take proper care of them in order to preserve them over long periods of time.
4. Clean out your closet. Then build a capsule
Find novel ways for wearing the outfits in your wardrobe that you never wear, and if all attempts fail, swap, sell or donate them.
Once your wardrobe is all cleaned out, identify gaps in essentials and fill them. This ensures that you never face the illusion that you have nothing to wear that often results from a wardrobe more lacking in timeless essentials to ground outfits.
5. Make your ethical capsule all-wearable
Once you have a well-built capsule, wear everything. This keeps your style looking and feeling fresh all the time which subsequently means that you are less vulnerable to shopping when you don’t need to.Your clothes are also well taken care of, because you do not overwear a subset of your wardrobe.
To make sure you wear everything, you can practice the front-to-back closet method — a first-in-last-out cycle in which you recently worn clothes are places at the furthest end of your wardrobe.