When I made the decision to move towards more sustainable fashion I had to look at my wardrobe and ask myself “how ethical is my closet right now?” Trying to answer this question has allowed me to create an ethical wardrobe audit that I perform on my own closet every 3 to 6 months. The timeline is totally up to you. I wanted to share my step-by-step process so you can perform your own wardrobe audit.
Step One: The Mountain
This is exactly how it sounds, but not exactly what you may be thinking. I took this inspiration from Marie Kondo. If you are all about decluttering then you already know this technique. Essentially, you are removing every single item of clothing you own and making a mountain of clothes. By doing this you truly see how many clothes you have amassed over the years. You will probably even shock yourself. My pile of clothes was so massive when I did this the first time I didn’t even know how I got all of my clothes in the my closet.
Step Two: Sorting Through the Madness
Now that we have our pile we have to start sorting through everything. The goal here is to create three piles: one for sustainable/ethical purchases, one for used purchases, and one for unethical purchases. Just looking at the size of each pile you can clearly see how ethical your closet is. When I first ran through this wardrobe audit my unethical clothing pile was the largest which is to be expected. I used to just purchase clothes not caring where it came from. If it was cute and cheap, it went home with me. I like to walk my clients through this particular sorting process because visual learning is the most effective.
Step Three: Processing the Unethical
Now it’s time to work on each pile one at a time. I personally like to start with the unethical pile because it’s the largest and I want to get the hard part over with, but it does not matter where you start. The idea is not to throw everything in this pile away because it’s been marked as “unethical” but to process the pieces you no longer where and responsibly remove them from your wardrobe.
Always try to closet swap with family and friends first. This is the easiest way to get rid of some of your unwanted clothes, but most importantly you are ensuring your clothes find a new home instead of ending up in a landfill somewhere. If you’re not into giving away your clothes for free, try to make so money on what you can. Try apps and sites like ThredUp, Poshmark, Depop, or Mercari. These are just a few of my favorites, but you can go to any secondhand source that works for you. I’m also a fan of Buffalo Exchange if you’re looking for a physical store to donate to.
Step Four: The Rebuild
Your closet is a blank canvas now that you’ve sorted through everything. A well organized closet will make putting outfits together an easy process. You should see your closet as your own personal boutique and boutiques are merchandised. I recommend hanging your clothes on felt hangers and all the hangers should be the same color. The felt material ensures your clothing does not slip off the hanger unlike plastic hangers.
Start merchandising by sectioning out your closet and keep like items and seasonal items together. This will make it easier to “shop” your closet. I also think it’s important to create a color story in each section. It’s visually appealing to move from lighter shades to darker shades throughout each section. Any items you do not wear regularly, but are not ready to get rid of should be placed in storage bins at the back of your closet.
Overview & Final Thoughts
Performing a wardrobe audit should be a fun process. Yes it’s time consuming, but it’s necessary. Performing these audits periodically can show if you’re shopping with sustainability and ethics in mind. Your unethical pile should no longer be the largest and that is something to celebrate. And as a major bonus you will always have a clean, well organized, and merchandised closet.
So, are you ready to perform your wardrobe audit? If not, I can do all the hard work for you with my Personal Shopping service. Leave a comment! Would love to hear about your experience sorting out your closet.
There are various reasons someone may decide to hire a personal stylist. It’s not just a luxury for rich people. Anyone can hire a personal stylist and if you are on the fence. Then this article is perfect for you.
A Major Life Shift
As we move along this crazy roller coaster called life we will experience many changes. For example, you could experience a change in your weight/size and none of your clothes fit the way they should anymore. Having to rebuild your wardrobe could be overwhelming and frustrating for some. Hiring a stylist definitely can help with any pain points you may be experiencing.
Maybe you are new to the dating scene. You were in a long relationship and that ended so now you want to give dating a go again. You will be amazed how much your wardrobe changes when you haven’t dated in a while. Not that you’ve let yourself go, but you tend to feel no pressure when you’re in a relationship versus trying to meet someone new. Hiring a stylist can help you alter you current wardrobe to include some key date night tops and dresses.
You Don't Like to Shop
If you are the type of person that would rather do anything else in the world than shop for yourself then hiring a personal stylist is definitely for you. There is nothing wrong if you truly do not like shopping. It’s not for everyone and shopping is time consuming. No one wants to spend their time doing something they don’t like. However, you can’t walk around without any clothes so hire out the help.
Updating Your Image
Maybe you’ve gone through life in just jeans and a t-shirt, but now you have a corporate job with a professional dress code. Or maybe you’ve left your corporate lifestyle and are looking to transition into something more casual.
Everyone’s situation will be different, but a stylist can help ease you into these wardrobe transitions and advise the best items that work for your new lifestyle.
Your desire to change your wardrobe isn’t always career based. It is possible that you’ve never changed your wardrobe as you’ve gotten older and some items are no longer age appropriate. And don’t take this statement the wrong way. It’s no one’s business to tell you what’s right for your age, but with that being said we do tend to have that feeling when something we used to love in our wardrobe 5 years ago doesn’t feel right anymore. This is a clear indication that it’s time for a change. It doesn’t have to be your entire wardrobe, but adjusting small areas can give you an overall new look.
You're On A Budget
When you have no self control and tend to go on shopping sprees to figure out how you will put gas in your car later. You should consider hiring s stylist. A personal stylist will help weed out items you don’t really need and will stay within your given budget so you’re not blowing your bank account. Your stylist understands that it’s all about quality and the value each piece brings, not quantity.
At the end of the day, only you can decide if hiring a personal stylist is right for you. Remember hiring a personal stylist is an investment, but it’s also a trade off. A stylist can help you build up confidence when you walk in that board room, help you get the man or woman of your dreams, and move you in the right direction for your life.
As a personal stylist I am fulfilled simply by being able to give back, help, and teach my clients about style. In return, I receive the greatest gift of all which is seeing my clients blossom and kick ass at life. I’m glad I can help during their personal journey. Until next time. Peace, Love, and Style!
Mynka is a personal wardrobe stylist sharing some style tips, outfit inspiration, and using this blog as a platform to continue the important discussions surrounding sustainable fashion.