Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sustainable September 2017 - Day Twenty Eight



Welcome back to the amazing Eco Kindness month... Sustainable September. This is the month where we focus on being kind to this amazing planet of ours and all those who live here. This week the focus is on Fashion and Beauty and how we can reduce our environmental impact in this area.

Yesterday I wrote about the problems with the fashion industry... particularly FAST FASHION.
The challenge yesterday was to reduce the amount of Clothing we buy, and then when you do go to purchase stuff, choose sustainable options like Seconds Hand, Envionmentally friendly, Fair trade, Organic, Vegan & Cruelty Free, Vintage etc.
This might seem hard... saying no to fast fashion. However, I have some tips and tricks for you to look at. Like this one...

Sustainable September Day Twenty Eight: Create a Capsule Wardrobe.

What is a capsule wardobe you might ask? Well it is basically a collection of clothes you wear regularly that all mix and match so you are left with less options overall and less choice fatigue - yes that is a real thing! This doesn't mean you really have less choices, you just get to use the smaller number of things you own and love in more creative ways.

Start with shopping your own closet. That means going through all of the clothes you own (Yes... ALL of the clothes you own) and figuring out if you love it, hate it, if it fits, if its still a style you feel comfortable wearing, if it still has its tags on check if it is worth taking the tags off.

I know how it goes, you look in your closet everyday and feel like there is nothing to wear.

Today, I'm going to share my excitement because I have been using a Capsule Wardrobes for the last 3 months.

I have been following a popular minimalist Blogger called Courtney Carver from from Be More With Less who created a Capsule Wardrobe challenge called Project 333. Thats 33 items of clothing for 3 Months.

"The Rules
  • When: Every three months (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!)
  • What: 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes.
  • What not: these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring or another sentimental piece of jewelry that you never take off, underwear, sleep wear, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)
  • How: Choose your 33 items, box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of sight.
  • What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months. Remember that this is not a project in suffering. If your clothes don’t fit or are in poor condition, replace them."
    (Check out the rest of
    Project 333 here)
For the last 3 months I have been working on using only 33 items of clothing/accessories/Shoes that fit together to form my Winter Capsule Wardrobe. That way I limit decision fatigure and spend less time looking at clothes (or in my case, it used to be 'worrying' about clothes). It actually makes my life easier... because I know what I have to choose from and all of these things are my favourite things to wear.

It's a challenge that may not suit everybody but i decided to give it a go.

I can make heaps of different outfits from this list too. 

 If I get to the point where these things aren't my favourite I will change them in the next 3 months as the weather warms up.

It has been surprisingly easy. I actually started with about 5 less items than I finally ended up with. I added in the black Toms Shoes, my grey Leggings, my red & black scarf, my University Hoodie and the Ying/Yang singlet. However my grey leggings and ying/yang singlet I often wear to Bootcamp so they might not technically count but oh well. I still have one space for a dress... I just couldn't decided which one! It turns out I haven't really needed a dress this last 3 months. Except for this coming Sunday when I will wear a pretty hand-me-down dress to become a Fairy Godmother... i mean... Godmother *cough*.

And do you know what? I have had more compliments in the last 3 months on my fashion than I ever had before. My favourite compliment was "You look really sophisticated these days." Thank you Shazza! It brightened my day.

My family didn't even notice. I had to tell my mum, my neice and nephew all about it last week. Apart from the fact I have to do washing more regularly, it wasn't too different than before. I still wear my favourite clothes, I just wear them more often and in new and interesting ways. I got really excited when i realised there were ways I could wear things that I never thought of before. Crazy huh? I have owned some of these clothes for YEARS. You can check out my Excel Spreadsheet too.

Yes I made a spread sheet. But that was just so I could keep myself accountable and know that i still have a long way to go when it comes to fast fashion. I bought a majority of my clothes from Fast Fashion outlets. But I also got a lot of hand-me-downs from friends, which I love. I also have a surprising amount of 'gifts" in there too. My favourite jewellery is all gifts from family and friends. 

If you want to know how I got started well it was pretty simple. I started by taking a record of what I was actually wearing. See that photo above of all the little outfits? That's from an app. It's called Stylebook (its currently only in the Apple App Store). It's awesome. For a month before I started the Project 333 challenge, every day I photographed what I had decided to wear that day and added it to the Stylebook app. After a month you will realise what you are wearing all the time and what is your favourite outfits. This helps when planning your Capsule Wardrobe for Project 333. Or any Capsule Wardrobe really. It gave me my core clothes. Ones I basically couldn't live without. 

From there I started seeing where the gaps were in my closet. For example the reason I bought the blue peplum top (whilst I was holidaying in Sydney in June) was because I needed a top that I could dress up and down and i didnt have something that could do that. I really liked the style and colour and I knew I could wear it again and again. AND I also decided I wanted it because I liked the way it fit, particularly how it flatters my waist. I know that when it gets to the end of it's life I can cut a pattern from it and make more like it. I may even do that BEFORE the end of it's life. It is a Fast Fashion brand (which I'm not pleased at myself with) but I needed something in a hurry and it filled my need. It doesn't mean I'm going to discard it after this 3 months either. I love it, so it will stay in my closet for a long time to come.

What I want to tell you is that I went into that particular store THREE times before I actually bought the Blue top. Why? Because I didn't really want to buy a Fast Fashion item. I dont know why I went in to that shop to start with... I usually avoid shops that I don't like ethically. But I was sucked in there and then I found the blue top and I was like YAY... something that fit the gap in my planned "Capsule Wardrobe" and then I asked myself did I really need it. After deciding No i didnt NEED it, I left. Then I had an unexpected event I was going to that was Smart/Casual. I didn't really have anything that fit it. So when I went back to that store and I, again, walked away in the hopes that I could find something from a better environmentally friendly and ethical store... but alas I found nothing so that is when I went back and bought that top. If I had had more time to scour the Op-shops/Thrift Shops I think I could have found something lovely. But I was in a foreign city without knowledge of where these shops were. I did the best I could with the time, money and information that I had. I also know I have a lot room for improvement and I look forward to experimenting more with capsule wardrobes. 

Interested in starting your own Capsule Wardrobe but need more inspiration from others? I have a Pinterest board dedicated to Capsule Wardrobes and also one dedicated to Travel Wardrobes (Which is basically a smaller Capsule Wardrobe that fits in a carry-on case). Travel Capsule Wardrobes are a great place to start because it makes travel easier AND you get to see if you can cope with a Capsule Wardrobe! Here is another persons Capsule Wardrobe for visuel inspiration...

Check out this really good video too...
ACTIVITY: Start planning a capsule wardrobe by recording the clothes you already wear regularly. This paired with yesterdays activity of not buying anything new will be a challenge for some. If you already know what you wear regularly and would feel confident putting together a capsule wardobe (as an experiment) then give it a go. It sure works for me. 

Not interested in doing Project 333... no problem! You don't need to limit yourself to just 33 items for 3 months. You can still create an awesome Capsule Wardrobe. Check out this video by SugarMumma for ideas on a larger Capsule Wardrobe...

I hope you have found this as useful and interesting as I did putting it all together. I look forward to seeing and hearing all about your new (or old) capsule wardrobes.

Much love to you all,

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