Closet Clear Out: Building a Minimalist Ethical Wardrobe.

A few times a year I like to block out some time to truly sort through my closet. Not only does the closet itself need a good clean, but this is also a great time to sort through your clothes.The past few years I have been trying to make my life more minimal and one focus on that journey has been my clothes.

I have always been in awe of people with capsule wardrobes, and while I am nowhere near that level yet, I do think I’ve gotten pretty good at transitioning my wardrobe to a more minimal one. In this blog post I am sharing some of my tips for spring cleaning your closet and explaining how you can move towards a more minimal, as well as ethical, wardrobe.

Take it all out

First things first: take everything out of your closet. Hangers, accessories, shoes and clothes, everything needs to be taken out. Before sorting through your clothes and placing them back into your closet, take some time to air it out as well as clean it. Get rid of any dust, give it a good hoover and wipe down any surfaces with some all-purpose cleaner. You want your clothes hanging in a nice clean spot.

Completely emptying out your closet also has another purpose. We often don’t realise just how many clothes we own, because it can look pretty compact when it’s in a closet. By taking everything out you will be able to properly examine all your items and carefully consider which ones you actually want to keep.

If you don’t wear it, let it go

I usually apply the six month rule: if I haven’t worn it the past six months, I probably won’t wear it again. I used to have so many pieces in my wardrobe that I didn’t wear but still never got rid of. They were usually pieces that were not really my style or that I did not feel confident wearing. If you have clothes like that in your wardrobe, you need to be a little tough. Why should you have clothes in your closet that you don’t wear?

Find your unwanted clothes a second home

If you find yourself wanting to part ways with some good quality clothes, remember that those pieces can make someone else very happy. I usually donate my clothes to a local charity shop, or if I have a specific item that I know a friend or family member will like I will give it to them. Something else you can do is try to sell some of your clothes. Especially if you have some high quality pieces, this can be a great way to earn some extra cash.

Get rid of worn-out pieces

This might seem obvious, but if you have clothing pieces that are worn-out, with holes and tears in them, you need to toss them. I used to keep countless pairs of socks with holes in them, as well as shirts and trousers that had torn. Don’t ask me why; for some reason I had an emotional attachment to these items that stopped me from getting rid of them. Take it from me though, these things only add more clutter to your life, and you’re much better off getting rid of them. Some of these worn-out items can be reused though. You can use old t-shirts and vests as cloths for cleaning your house. This saves you some money, and it helps create a little less waste!

Invest in good quality clothes

To make future spring cleaning sessions a little easier, invest in good quality clothes. High quality clothes last a lot longer, and it will mean having to buy less items in the long run. Something to look out for is wether the clothes you are buying are ethically made. You will often find that ethically made pieces are of higher quality, and you can wear them with pride knowing that the people that made them did so in fair conditions. There are some great ethical clothing brands out there; my personal favourite is Uncaptive Co. (you can shop their collection of ethical pieces here, which have all been certified by the Fairwear Foundation).

Transitioning to a more minimal and ethical wardrobe takes time. The best way to go about it is to swap out pieces one at a time. That way, in a couple of years, you can have a wardrobe with essentials that are of high quality and ethically made.

A version of this post was originally written by me for the Uncaptive Co blog, see here: https://www.uncaptive.co.uk/blog/2018/2/9/how-to-construct-an-epic-vegan-breakfast-for-valentines-day

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