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The Biggest Challenge: Closet Checkup

Because I have always been a fashion enthusiast, up until recently, I have not been keeping track of the clothes and other things I have been buying. I  used to have an attitude of buying impulsively, not realizing that I was already hoarding clothes that I would not be using for the next five years. When my eyes were opened to the reality of fast fashion, I began assessing my attitude towards my purchases. It was then when I realized that these brands’ marketing strategies indeed worked on all of us, including me. That everytime you would go in a certain fast fashion store you would always want to buy the mannequin’s dress or button-down , there was always that urge to hoard every collection they would launch.

Did you know that every collection consists of designs that would go out of style two weeks after launching? Fast paced, right? It was called fast fashion for a reason, and this is one of those reasons. I also used to want to sport the latest trends displayed in fashion boutiques, but I later learned that being fashionable does not come from following trends, but in making your own style, one that showcased your own identity.

Finding my own style challenged because I had a limited variety of clothes. (if you would check my previous post of Where it all began, I mentioned that at 2015 I stopped shopping from fast fashion companies) And for someone who enjoys dressing up on a daily basis this seems dreadful. I came to a point where I stopped buying clothes altogether for almost 2 years. Whether it be new or second hand, no, nothing at all.  I had nothing to wearwas the phrase that I kept repeating to myself, knowing that without new clothes, I truly had nothing to wear.

I’m a planner. I usually check my schedule for the week and upcoming special events so I could prepare the clothes I would be wearing in advance. Meaning, my outfits for the next several days were mapped out accordingly. So during those days that I would need a certain top or bottom that I either borrow from my elder sister who has the same size as me, or my best friend. During those times, I came to my senses that, Hey, I have clothes and there is no such thing as I have nothing to wear.  It was just a mindset instilled in consumers to purchase more than what they need. Two years without buying any clothes did not lessen my pieces. I had all the same garbs but I could no longer wear most of them because they have become out of fashion. They were designed to go out of style in a short period of time, and they have served that purpose. I was only able to wear those that were classic in style and those that lasted such as plain pants, plain tops, tops with classic prints such as stripes and  polka dots (which I’m not a fan of). I also kept some of my mom’s clothes when she was still single that happened to fit me perfectly. It was great to see that there were clothes that could last up  to two decades and more.

Eventually, I donated most my of my unused clothes and settled only with those that I decided to continue using for the next decade. This year, I started buying clothes again, and most of them came from my local online thrift shops. I do not really have the leisure of time to go around my brick and mortar thrift shops in my area without costing me at least half a day to find a gem item. That is why I checked out Instagram and found sellers that matched my style and color palette. A quick, easy, and affordable way to shop consciously. I also shop in some local ethical stores, after doing my homework about them.

Here are some rules I abide in before making my purchases:

  • It must be ethically made. Plus points if it is of natural fabrics, and not packaged in plastic or non-biodegradable material.
  • It must belong to my color palette, which are: black, pink, white, maroon, gray, and blue (Create your own capsule wardrobe within the confines of your chosen color palette).
  • Preferably, from a company that is starting out and owned by locals, which will strengthen our economic growth.
  • The pattern or shape must compliment my body type (in my case, I’m an inverted triangle so I opt for bottoms that widen and elongate then tops that narrows down my shoulder)

Tweek and make your own. Make it special and personal, knowing you did your part, that your future wardrobe was made carefully with thought, in a healthy sustainable way.

Now, take a breath.

Reflect.

Reassess.

And start shopping consciously.

The Biggest Challenge: Closet Checkup

By: Eunice Grace Mendenilla Baylon

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About the Author:

Eunice is a student, and a member of Forth Co. community who is advocating for sustainable fashion.

Q. What inspires you to transition into sustainable fashion?
Eunice: What inspires me the most are the people who are continuously suffering due to unethical labor practices in producing our clothes.

Check out more of her write ups and get inspired to start your fashion sustainability journey too - https://fashioncost.wordpress.com <3

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