Autumn Capsule Wardrobe: Making Ethical Choices

Considering the true cost of fashion in planning my Autumn Capsule Wardrobe at Whisper & Howl #capsule #wardrobearchitect #fashion #project333 #whisperandhowl #wardrobe #truecost

Friends, it has been a very long and trying month. The intensity of the past weeks has kept me from updating this little blog, but I did manage to pull together an Autumn Capsule Wardrobe, which I switched to on the first day of Fall. I don’t have any photos but I’d like to describe the process I used, because this time things were a little different.

Before I developed my Autumn capsule, I watched The True Cost, a documentary about Fast Fashion and the deeply negative impacts that our culture of consumer-capitalist culture has on the environment and our collective and individual psyches. Needless to say, I loved it. I thought the film was very informative and provocative, illuminating the unethical practices of fast fashion brands without disparaging the idea of fashion.  Fashion is beautiful, a form of wearable art that lets us express our individuality, culture, and creativity. Fast fashion takes clothing and turns it into a cheap commodity, something to be purchased without consideration and discarded when something new catches our fancy.  I won’t give facts and figures here, but if this is interesting to you then I encourage you to watch the film (you can stream it on Netflix).

Watching this movie reminded me of my morals and that I have a choice to make when I purchase clothing. I can choose to research brands and manufacturers and select fair-trade, organic, ethical…or I can go for cheap, disposable, trendy.

I don’t have a lot of money, but I want to make the right choices. I decided to really limit my purchases this season and to make as many pieces as possible. There are only 4 brand-new pieces in my wardrobe: a pair of Lotta from Stockholm clogs, a giant blanket-sweater and 2 pairs of high-waisted leggings. I admit that I do not know much about the brands I chose; the price for these items was higher than what I usually pay, which makes me think they are more ethically produced, but that absolutely may not be true.  I also obtained a shirt from my mom.

As I was developing my list of pieces that I have and that I want, I also thought about what I could sew in these few months. I have already made a lion-print wrap skirt and am working on a scuba knit, emerald green simple shift dress. I have a white sweatshirt and a plaid flannel shirt on my list. I average one new garment per month.

I hope to have some pictures for you soon.  I’d like to continue to explain my capsule wardrobe process as I hone it myself. I’m developing it into a service I can use with clients, so that I can help others achieve the ease, comfort and contentedness that I find in having a simple, curated wardrobe.

What role, if any, do ethics play in your clothing choices?  

2 thoughts on “Autumn Capsule Wardrobe: Making Ethical Choices

  1. Emily says:

    Ethics play a large role in my clothing choices, both in the sense of social responsibility and environmental conservation, moreso the latter. The carbon footprint of new clothes is immense! I shop second hand for my clothes and my daughter’s clothes at least 80% of the time, and always try my trusty thrift and consignment stores before I buy new. When I DO buy new it is usually fast fashion because of budget and convenience – target, Costco, old navy – but I keep these fast pieces for a long time, and tell myself that that negates the impact of supporting the fast fashion industry. I have found that basics like cotton tops and jeans from these cheap sources seem to last a lot longer than their more trendy pieces and synthetic fabrics.

    All that said, this works for me because I am not really into fashion. I wear basic clothes that are comfortable and functional for my lifestyle, but if I needed more dress/professional/& or creative clothes that served a more artistic/fashion/expression purpose, then my system would be more challenging for sure!

    • Jillian says:

      Thanks, Emily! I’ve found it more difficult lately to find anything I like from second-hand stores, although I’d like to learn more about alterations so I can tailor things to fit me.

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