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There are two problems with the way we’ve all been approaching personal style.
The first, is that most of us have a closet full of clothes and yet still feel like we have nothing to wear. And though it might not seem like it at first, this is actually is a really big deal.
Not because we’re vain or we think being stylish is the most important part of life. But because starting each day feeling frustrated and thinking we look like crap has a strong, negative, ripple effect.
It zaps us of our confidence.
And since we start each day by getting dressed, and since each of those days add up to create our life, this personal style problem winds up having a cumulative affect on how we feel about ourselves in life in general.
And is there anything more important than how we feel about ourselves? It dictates our behavior, what we think think we deserve, how we feel we should be treated, how we treat others, our success, our happiness, our fulfillment.
So yeah, we think feeling good when we get dressed every day is a really big deal.
It’s not about vanity. It’s about confidence.
Personal style can either be a huge pain in the ass that makes us feel like crap, or it can be a tool we use to bolster our confidence and improve our lives.
So that’s the first problem. A closet full of clothes yet nothing to wear.
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The second problem is that we – Western women – and our consumption of fast fashion, are literally destroying the earth and killing less fortunate women around the world.
We know. This is really heavy.
We don’t want to think about it either. But not thinking about it won’t make it any less true.
We couldn’t. We just cried our faces off. And then decided we needed to do something about it.
Without going full-blown fear monger on you, the cold, hard truth is that the fast fashion we have been conditioned to consume and expect is all sorts of crazy f&cked up.
It is quite literally – and we’re not using ‘literally’ in the trendy way here but, in the actual definition of the word – killing other people, mostly women mind you, around the world.
Not to mention, it’s polluting the earth at an alarming rate.
And this is all so we can dress better? But if you go back to problem number one, it’s not even helping us do that. Not that it would be worth it if it were…
So let’s review our style problems:
We perpetually have a closet full of clothes and yet still have nothing to wear. This makes us feel like crap every day and has a negative impact on our entire life experience.
Our consumer habits are killing other women and destroying our environment at the same time.
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So. What do we do about it?
Well, we’ve come up with a four-step process that we believe will solve both problems.
This process is easy, fun, and will have us dressing better, feeling confident and enjoying life more. It will also change our consumer habits and help us all move toward a more socially responsible and environmentally friendly future. Sound good?
Okay, so here are the four steps if you’d like to join us on our style quest.
The Four Step Process
Step 1: Accept two basic truths about fashion
Step 2: Prune your closet ruthlessly
Step 3: Adopt the capsule wardrobe
Step 4: Consume consciously going forward
Step 1: Accept two basic truths about fashion
First – having more clothing doesn’t make you more stylish, it just makes it harder to get dressed every day.
Second – fast fashion is an unethical and environmentally destructive industry that we need to stop supporting.
Step 2 – Prune your closet ruthlessly
Clean out your closet. You have to get rid of all the stuff you’re not wearing. Not only because you can’t see everything when your closet is jammed with crap but, because you probably don’t even like most of it anyway. That’s why you don’t wear it in the first place.
This is the first step toward wasting less time standing in front of your closet in the damp towel cursing your taste in clothing and wondering what the hell you were thinking when you bought all of this crap.
Go through each item and sell, donate or trash what’s worn out, ripped, stained, doesn’t fit, you hate, or that you haven’t worn once in the past year.
An important note on donating though:
Donating your unwanted clothing, although it can feel good, is not the answer. We can do it to pare down and to get us to a place of consuming less in the future but, honestly, even our donation centers are overflowing. There’s just too much clothing being made. They can’t sell everything. Most of it winds up getting sold by the pound, shipped to Africa, picked over, not used, and then winds up in a landfill anyway. So no, donating your clothes as you get sick of them is not the answer. It’s nice to imagine them being used by the less fortunate who really need them but, it’s just not the reality of it.
The bottom line is that clothing is not disposable and we need to stop treating it as if it were.
Step 3 – Adopt the capsule wardrobe
Now that you’ve edited your closet, you’ll want to take what’s left and put together smaller, seasonable wardrobes that you’ll love to wear. These are called capsule wardrobes. Sure you can buy some new staples if you need, replace things that are worn out, or snag a few things you’ll really love to wear, but the point is to consciously plan out and create a wardrobe in a careful, discerning way. Focus on less. Plan it out ahead of the season. Buy, fix, tailor what you need. And then don’t shop anymore throughout that season. Stop consuming just to consume.
The idea with the capsule wardrobe is to curate carefully and have fewer, better things that you love to wear, that are made well, and that will last. This will make it easier to get dressed every day and you’ll be able to leave the house feeling confident.
Having fewer options you love makes it easier to be more stylish.
Step 4 – Consume consciously going forward
Now that you’ve accepted the truth about fast fashion, cleaned out your closet and created your capsule wardrobe, you’ll want to consume more consciously from here on out.
Each item you bring into your wardrobe should be curated with care. You’ll be wearing it more, so you should really love it, and it should be a quality piece so it will last.
Most importantly though, we should know where it came from and who made it.
Simply put, as you buy more clothing in the future, commit to finding the highest quality, most ethical and sustainable sources you can.
Support the designers and manufacturers trying to make good quality, beautiful clothing in a socially responsible way. They’re the ones paying their workers a living wage in a safe environment, sourcing fabrics sustainably, and taking responsibility for their impact on the environment and other human beings. And they also shouldn’t be afraid to answer your questions.
Move away from fast fashion and use your consumer power to change the direction of the industry. Because honestly, consumer demand is what is going to make the biggest impact.
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We’ve begun this process ourselves over here at CTK. We’re 100% not perfect and we’re just getting started on this journey ourselves. But we’ve started, and we think that’s what’s most important.
We’ve accepted the truth.
We’ve cleaned out our closets.
We’ve created our Spring capsule wardrobes (which we’ll be sharing with you in March!)
And now, we’re beginning to seek out the cutest, most affordable, transparent, ethically sourced and socially responsible clothing we can find.
We’ll even be curating a shop to showcase our findings and make it easier for you to find cute, ethical options as well.
And we’ve already been in contact with some great, transparent and Fair Trade brands that we’re going to work with in the future, which we’re real excited about.
There’s a lot of beautiful, ethical and environmentally-friendly clothing being made out there and we intend to find it.
Our goal is to improve our wardrobes, feel more confident in our style choices and make the world a better place at the same time. Oh, and to have fun. Because we love style. But we want to be a part of the solution and not the problem.
So what do you think? Wanna join us in our style quest?
We would LOVE to hear from you. And more importantly, we’d love your help in finding the highest quality, affordable and ethical clothing out there. If you know of any companies that fit the bill, please let us know or send them our way. And leave a comment below.
And if you think this is important, please share this post with your friends on Facebook.
Let’s dress better and make the world a better place together, shall we?
Our free style guide is coming to a blog near you soon. If you’re interested, just pop your email in below and we’ll shoot it over as soon as it’s done!