Neat & Clear
Let's talk honestly: my wardrobe is huge. I've got a lot of dresses, sweaters, hats, tops, shoes, jewelry... In my closet you find second hand next to designer pieces next to H&M... Therebetween: only a few consciously produced pieces. Yet.
Flat cap: Vintage from my aunt. Choker: Vintage from my great-aunt. Fake leather jacket: Calvin Klein. Lace-up body: H&M. Make-up: Lavera, Logona, Alverde.
As you can see I didn't always pay as much attention on where my clothes come from than I do now. I knew that I would need to change my consumer behavior over time to be an example in this fast-paced world, but for long I wasn't ready to do so. I just couldn't resist the seduction of buying pretty things to low prices or big brands' it-pieces. I was bad. Not bad because I intended to do bad, but because I didn't pay enough attention to the consequences of every piece that wasn't produced in a fair and sustainable way.
Like most of us I've got more than I need, but I love my clothes and I love to experiment in fashion. I probably didn't purchase more than people with a small closet - I just kept more instead of changing my wardrobe every season.
As I told you in my last article Why I decided not to buy H&M anymore the best is to reuse, repair, swap, buy second hand, buy from ethically correct brands - in that order. That's my goal! The last things I purchased were pretty pricy therefore. It was for my upcoming trip. I looked for used items in the internet before, but couldn't find anything acceptable. So I went to Globetrotter, asked for advice and then ordered a high quality tent and good quality sleeping bag and air mattress at their store. Instead I could have bought everything cheap, not caring about how long it would last and how it was produced. That's what I mean: we need to be willing to pay a price for that the price isn't paid by the environment.
Well, let's get back to the topic: our wardrobe! My closet is always clean and well organized because it just gives me a good feeling. I am able to see most of my pieces immediately and don't need to go on a hunt in a stuffed closet. The other pieces are in boxes that I look over regularly to change what's in the boxes and what's hanging in the closet.
For that your closet will make you happy again, here's my guide for you:
1st: Look through your clothes and sort them
A - your favorites that you wear the most
B - your favorites for special occasions
C - pieces you like, but don't wear at the moment
D - pieces for the winter/summer that you can't wear right now
E - pieces you like, but that don't fit well at the moment
F - pieces that you don't wear anymore, but could like to wear again
G - pieces you don't like to wear anymore because they don't feel like you or are too large/small/not ideal in color or shape
H - worn out pieces that don't look good anymore and can't be repaired
I - pieces that could be repaired
3rd: Closet tips
1 - Use thin and bright hangers, all in the same style to arrange it neatly
2 - Use transparent boxes with lids that keep your clothes clean and help you find everything immediately
3 - Use parceled Natural Lavender Soap Bars or Pure Lavender in small cotton bags to keep your closet and boxes clear of moths and well odored
4 - Sort by color, material and style
5 - Place a clothes basket in your room
2nd: Now it´s about organizing and choosing
What to do:
A & B - place them prominently, so that they are visible and approachable immediately when you open your closet
C & D - put them in different boxes that you can look over easily whenever needed
E & F - look them over again. Ask yourself: Will E fit well again for sure? Is it possible that you might like F again and would regret giving them away? If so, put E & F in two different boxes and store them as well. If you´re not sure, put them in a bag for swapping - that makes it easier to say goodbye since you get something else instead. If not, do what you do with G
G - a) give them away to friends or family, b) swap them online, in a group or at an event, c) sell them online, at a second hand store or (my favorite!) at a flea market
H - put them into a recycling container
I - repair them as soon as possible
4th: Wardrobe tips
1 - Quality over quantity
2 - Natural over synthetic material
3 - Clean and simple basics plus a few
This is not a guide for becoming a minimalist, but if you follow through you will become more minimalistic over time since you'll only have quality pieces that you wear for a long time, repair, swap, sell/rebuy. It's totally okay to keep wearing your non-ethically produced clothes and buy such second-hand. Only exception is real fur since it makes people emulate and therefore purchase new fur items. I know people who threw everything away that wasn't consciously produced. But in my eyes, that's absolutely ridiculous: it is already produced and hanging in your closet or a second-hand store, so you don't support a scrupulous industry with it again or anymore. In fact, you would harm the environment if you would throw it away and buy new pieces instead - conscious or not.
I hope this guide will help you organize your closet and decide about your wardrobe. There's gonna be a list about conscious brands & stores, second-hand & swap stores/apps and flea-markets next. Stay tuned and tell me about your closet and wardrobe on Instagram and Facebook.
Photographer: Martin Dschietzig
Historic Graphics: ArtsyBee