It’s true that many of my clients are not entirely minimalist in their scope of collecting gorgeous clothes. The times we live in allow us the opportunity to enjoy affordable clothes, even at the designer level. Even now, when the Euro’s value has plummeted against the U.S. Dollar, European companies make even more luxurious goods in order to maintain their sales levels from prior years when the Euro’s valuation was higher. So the cycle continues to the point at which one must determine when enough clothes are enough.
Significant weight loss, ironically, causes one of the biggest shifts in clothing ownership.
A shift in lifestyle often creates another outflow and inflow of clothing.
Those are reasonable ways in which it’s not easy to know right away when enough clothes are enough. But weight loss and lifestyle shifts are not careless and wasteful uses of resources.
It’s the careless shopping that creates wastefulness and unknowingness about when enough clothes are enough.
Buying clothes that do not go with anything else, and linger in the closet, neither worn nor enjoyed, is where the cycle of wastefulness begins. It’s practically like addictive behavior. Once your closet becomes the land of wastefulness, it’s easy to keep going. Can you hear yourself say, “Well, I’ll try this piece and see what happens?” If you can, then you have taken your shopping and spending and left it to chance.
Though I’ve written before about the lack of sustainability of “fast fashion,” it’s also true that buyers of designer clothes can fall prey to overdoing it. No matter what our economic situations are, we need to be mindful about how endless and needless buying leads to an erosion of the world’s resources.
A new feature length documentary film, “The True Cost,” looks at the human and environmental cost of fast fashion. It’s not, by any means, the last word on the subject. But, it does force us to look, once more, at our First World sense of greediness and entitlement that is wreaking havoc in the Third World. I also would be cautious about how the filmmaker conflates all of fashion and its own set of troubles with that of the “fast fashion” situation.
But, the factories in Bangladesh seem so very far away from our closets. The first thing that we need to do is to examine how much crap we have in our own closets and make a resolution to get responsible. One person at a time, we each can make a difference. And, if we spread the word to others, we can create a collective consciousness that is responsible and thoughtful. The result is that we should LOVE what we own and we should wear it with as much pride as we should have in ourselves.
And if you have no pride in yourself to make better decisions, then you need a whole other level of help.
Joseph Rosenfeld helps successful Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs and executives discover their personal brands and design their personal styles. Get Joseph’s free report that helps you know “7 Ways to Transform Your Personal Style”.