Tips to create your sustainable minimalist wardrobe
If you are interested in sustainability there is a good chance that you’ve come across the concept of minimalism. Sustainability requires that we learn to live with less. But it doesn’t necessarily require that you must automatically follow minimalism to live sustainably, especially if your personality doesn’t suit limiting yourself to just a few staple items. Still there is a benefit having a minimal wardrobe if it does suit you.
I myself am not a minimalist. I tend to hoard objects for reasons of frugality. Books and magazines, in particular, I accumulate. But with a toddler at home, who has a habit of unpacking cupboards and drawers and leaving random items strewn across the floor, I have started to pare back my belongings. If nothing else, for my own sanity. My nursing friendly wardrobe has also been fairly minimal, so I have started to question how many belongings I really need to own. I am not a minimalist yet, but I have minimalist tendencies.
If you are also thinking about minimalism, you will enjoy the following post by Kamea Chang, a fellow member of the Ethical Writers Coalition. This post originally appeared on her blog Kamea World, where she writes about health and wellness, sustainability and design.
I’ve been traveling and moving around a lot lately while working on My Healthy Lifestyle: A guide to personal wellness & world sustainability. I can hardly call this “work” though, despite endless hours of researching, speaking with experts, writing, and reading stacks of textbooks and online (deep but dry) scientific articles. I have to admit that it’s been quite a life-changing and exciting journey for myself, as I just keep learning more and more every day! I am such a nerd, but I really believe that knowledge can be so empowering. I have never been this excited about something in my life, and I cannot wait to share my discoveries with you when I officially launch my book next spring!
Meanwhile, however, travelling and nomading isn’t always that pretty and romantic….
Especially when it comes to packing and needing to basically live out of just a suitcase-worth of things. This forced me to downsize, curate an easily portable (eco) wardrobe, and think twice before buying anything new. The result of this is my minimalist wardrobe shown in the picture above, which I am extremely happy about. Actually, though, needing to downsize has turned out to be such a positive change in my life. I never lose anything anymore and I can probably tell you off the top of my head where everything I own in this apartment is. Also, most items in my wardrobe match with one another, so I end up spending less time putting together outfits in the mornings or digging for things and more quality time with friends and family or being productive.
A simplified wardrobe = a simplified life = higher quality of living
Here’s a summary of what I’ve learned as a nomading eco-fashionista on how to curate a sustainable minimalist wardrobe:
1. Determine you personal color palette
Take a look at your current wardrobe and see which colors dominate. Monochromes? Neutrals? Earthy tones? Bright neons? Floral colors? This is your personal color palette. While most of your clothing should be within that one color palette, it’s okay to have a few pieces that stand out. Having a single personal color palette is important because it will help ensure that most of your pieces match with at least something else in your wardrobe!
2. Include a solid chunk of basics
It’s really what it is. Basics are for everyone, for (almost) every occasion! Dress up with heels or dress down with sneakers. They pair well with other basics, but they also pair well with more eye-catching pieces and accessories. A white tank will match with a variety of bottoms ranging from denim shorts, red jeans, to floral maxi’s. Throw on simple studs or wear a pair of dramatic chandeliers. They are so versatile and will never be “out of fashion.” Investing in high quality basics is really a great sustainable minimalist wardrobe decision.
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