Conscious Living: Reboot your closet - sustainably
Each month, Aksara Inamdar, of to Woke Souls, shines a light on conscious eating, sustainable living and wellbeing. Here she discusses how to give your wardrobe a seasonal revamp in planet-friendly fashion
Illustration by Catkins Illustrations
The slower pace of life during the summer months may have created space for some of us to dedicate energy to tasks that are often pushed back. A common example of this may be to clear out or organise a certain space, room or set of wardrobes. As the season transitions and the countdown to Christmas begins - fashion and clothing are bound to be fleeting thoughts which cross our minds.
Spring and autumn tend to be the best times to reorganise our belongings, as these transitional phases naturally have an impact on our wants and needs. Autumn is a good time to pack away our cooler, lighter duvets, along with bedding, spring and summer clothing, and pyjamas and shoes, with the exception of one or two easy to reach options for those sporadic summer days. I find joy in this seasonal process, as it tends to feel as though a new collection of clothing has been gained, whilst bringing about a sense of excitement.
As we familiarise ourselves with the increasing exposure of the fashion industry’s unsustainable and unethical practices, we find ourselves steering away from the norm, whilst seeking alternatives that are more aligned with our values. Below is a useful guide on how to navigate your way through the planning and clearing of your wardrobe, along with how to source, and dispose of clothing.
Prep and Planning
Consider what your wants and needs are, ask yourself: what is my daily routine? Do I work from home? How often do I dress up for a fancy meal or get together? How often do I travel? Which fabrics, colours and styles do I find most comfortable and representative of my personality?
It doesn’t serve you to have a closet filled with dresses and skirts from the partying days of yesteryear, if you now tend to spend more nights in, favouring pyjamas or loungewear. Be realistic about what you use and how you mostly spend your time. Let these factors guide you whilst examining your current wardrobe; once you have a clear idea of what you need, schedule some time aside to get started.
In order to get the best out of your wardrobe, you must still desire what you have, so in total Marie Kondo style, I suggest you hold each item of clothing and ask yourself ‘does this spark joy?’ and go from there.
For items that no longer spark joy, say your goodbyes and create a pile, repeat this process for items that do spark joy, and again for those that do spark joy, however that are in need of some TLC (set this last pile aside to return to at another time).
Conscious ways to dispose of unwanted garments include: selling them online via apps such as Depop, Facebook Marketplace and Ebay, organising or taking part in a clothing swap, or donating them to family, friends, and charity shops.
Having completed the above process, should you feel a desire for any new items, there are slightly more eco ways of shopping, for example: buying pre-loved items from apps such as the above, or in store via thrift and vintage stores (Fantasia, Jemporium, Serpentine Swap) or fairs (Judy's). Ethical brands are also on the rise - vote with your wallet by supporting one of the many great initiatives out there, for example Lost Stock.
Vestiaire Collective is a good one if you are seeking pre-owned luxe items and designer brands. Apps like Nu Wardrobe and Hirestreetuk are great for borrowing or hiring what you need, for pieces that you intend to wear once, or for a short period of time (for example to a wedding or a weekend away).
Aksara Inamdar is an advocate for the conscious living movement and founder of to Woke Souls. As a creative writer, entrepreneur, and soon to be podcaster, she is passionate about making a real difference by using her platforms to inform, inspire and motivate others to live a more enlightened and fulfilled life.
to Woke Souls is a leading resource and community for sustainability, slow living and self-love. The site features insights from our city’s most purpose-led, inspired individuals and serves an engaged readership of people seeking to better care for themselves, their communities and the planet.
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