Today I’m going to talk about clothes. I absolutely love to go shopping, especially for clothes. My sister and I would spend entire days going through racks at all our favorite shops for deals on cute sweaters. I got to the point where I had way too many clothes that I was never wearing. I would keep things just in case I ever needed them for something, and even kept clothes that didn’t fit me anymore with hopes that they would again someday. When my husband and I started combining finances and saving for our wedding and a house, I realized that I needed to change my ways.
I wanted to try one of those systems where you wear 30 articles of clothing for 30 days to see that you don’t need all of your clothes, but tried it over the winter when I wear lots of layers. I tried the program where I set aside all of the clothes that I wore for a few weeks. I put them into a different section of my closet to assess what I wear and what I don’t. The issue with that was that it was again, winter. I live in New Jersey, where we have all four seasons worth of clothing needs. I was able to donate a ton of sweaters, but I didn’t touch any of my sundresses. I ended up just going through my closet and dresser multiple times, each time choosing items to donate until I got to a minimum that I was comfortable with. You don’t have to only survive on 30 articles of clothing in order to be good to the planet. Clothing is our way of expressing ourselves, and as long as we shop responsibly, and donate or upcycle clothes we are done with wearing, I don’t see why we can’t hold onto the pieces that we love!
As for my shopping, it has slowed significantly. I only purchase clothes that I need and appreciate the ones that I already have. I chose to only purchase clothes secondhand or from companies that do good deeds for the planet. I’ve bought clothes from Pact and Tentree and am a big fan of how comfortable they are. If I want to physically go shopping, I go to places like Plato’s Closet, which is all secondhand clothes that are still in great condition. If I need something specific, I like to shop online with ThredUP. ThredUP is a massive online thrift shop that has tons of options in every category. I ordered a dress for a friend’s wedding from them that fits perfectly, and if you want to order something like jeans, they have measurements on the site so you have a good idea about fit. I have even ordered shoes on ThredUP, and have returned pairs that didn’t fit me with no hassle. You just print out a free shipping label and drop the box they came in back off at the post office. I reuse the boxes so it is zero waste, or put them in my cardboard recycling.
It’s fun to still shop, but without the guilt! In the past year and a half, the only “new” articles of clothing I purchased were my wedding gown and a $5 pair of shoes for my wedding. It is also fun to go through your closet and purge. Spring-cleaning makes everyone feel lighter, and it feels inspiring to clean out and donate your clothes, shoes, anything to someone in need. I’m in the process of buying a house and moving in next week, so donating a bunch of my clothes this year has made that process so much easier. I still have more than I need, but at least I reduced as much as I was comfortable with and am pledging to sustainably shop as much as I can!
Love this cute sweater and hat from Tentree- the hat brim is made out of cork and the sweater is super soft!
Plato’s Closet Finds
This entire outfit was purchased at Plato’s Closet – I love to wear flannel shirts and leggings in the fall, and this one made it into our professional wedding photos! (and yes, that is the wedding gown that was my ONE new article of clothing purchased in 2020!)