Lockdown and the COVID-19 situation has really given us the time to do the things we’ve been putting off for a while. I’ve really been able to consider where my money goes whilst in lockdown and the amount I spent on clothes prior to lockdown was a lot more than I’m willing to admit to. Walking from work to the train station took me past all the clothes shops that Leeds has to offer – and I found myself tempted on the regular. I wrote about reducing fast fashion offerings in my life – this has been a success, for the most part. I no longer order clothes on the internet willy-nilly, without bothering to look at where they’re coming from. Ethical fashion isn’t high on everyone’s importance list but it’s something that I’ve been researching and learning about over the last year.
Since I started working from home in the middle of March 2020, I’ve only bought a couple of items of clothing for myself – it was a piece I’ve been after for ages, from And Other Stories (with a higher cost than I was willing to pay). It was 40% off and I know that in the coming months and years I’ll get a lot of ‘wearability’ from it. I also picked up some new underwear, which was an essential purchase. I’ve been wearing mostly the same clothes whilst I’ve been at home and I haven’t had anywhere to go to wear things in my wardrobe that are a little more ‘out there’. I’ve started to understand what I feel the most comfortable in and narrowed down the clothes that I reach for on the regular.
Ethical Fashion – How I Cut Down My Wardrobes During Lockdown
How My Knowledge of Ethical Fashion has helped me strip back – and helped me resist purchases
Ethical Fashion retailers are much more popular than they used to be – it’s never been easier to buy clothes made by people who are paid fairly for their work, with materials that will go the distance. Every time I’ve been tempted by an ASOS haul, I’ve reflected on the clothing choices, whether I can see myself wearing them in a years time and if so, whether I think they’ll still be in good condition in a year’s time. If the answer is no, then the clothes go out of the basket and the money stays fresh in my bank account. Ethical clothing always takes precedence over fast fashion – with no exceptions.
Sort through your wardrobes – and make piles for reselling and charity shops
I appreciate that at the moment whilst we’re all still in lockdown, charity shops aren’t open and sending out parcels in the mail should be done as infrequently as you can afford – but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare yourself. Go through your (likely overflowing) wardrobes and sort your clothes into piles – ‘clothes you wear regularly’, ‘clothes you don’t wear all that often’ and ‘clothes you never wear’ are ones that I’ve opted for myself. Clothes I wear regularly are, needless to say, the ones I’ll be keeping without a second thought. The clothes I don’t wear all that often’ requires a little bit of additional sorting as a lot of my clothes are seasonal – I have a small collection of gorgeous summer pieces from Sezane that still have a lot of wear in them and I’ll only be getting rid of if they no longer fit me. My last piles of clothes – the ones I never wear – are likely the ones that will be first to go. Just because I no longer wear them doesn’t mean someone else won’t benefit from them.
Consider the ‘capsule wardrobe’ concept
Capsule wardrobes definitely aren’t for everyone – but they may well be for you. I love the idea of it myself but I haven’t really had the ‘push’ towards putting it into practice. One of my ~personal~ saving goals for the rest of the year is to save for ~good quality~ new clothes so I’ll likely go through my wardrobes again once I’ve got the money saved and ready to go and decide which of my clothes will work whatever the season, weather or mood. I know that I certainly don’t have enough ‘basics’ in my wardrobe right now – t-shirts and bodysuits to couple with jeans, shorts and skirts. I have a ‘Capsule’ wardrobe document on my Notion tracker that keeps track of the few items I’d like to eventually add to my capsule wardrobe – with links to the items so I can keep checking back to see if the prices reduce at any time. Capsule wardrobes can still be purchased with a bargain in mind.
Buy clothes that will last you – and ditch fast fashion for good
The temptation to nip into Topshop or Zara to grab a bargain in the sale when you’re heading on a night out is a big one – but it’s not an ethical fashion choice. Over the years, most of the things that I’ve bought from Topshop have been worn only once or twice before they’ve either gone out of style or else don’t fit me anymore. Pieces that I bought years ago that cost quite a bit more have lasted the distance and are pieces I still reach for – particularly my items from Sezane. I’m constantly on the lookout for good quality, ethical clothing companies and will only be purchasing these going forward, taking care to ensure that the pieces I buy are wearable across a number of outfits and can be worn all year – with the appropriate accessories.
How are your wardrobes looking after our lockdowns? Have you spent far too much money on clothes and are in need of a clear out? Let me know! Fashion should always be ethical fashion as far as possible – cut down now and make the change.