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A Capsule Wardrobe Reduces Fast Fashion Consumption

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A Capsule Wardrobe Reduces Fast Fashion Consumption

By Surabhi Chopra

Sustainable fashion choices, including the highly regarded capsule wardrobe, are becoming increasingly popular. Whether inspired by Marie Kondo’s wardrobe-focused tidying technique or Matilda Kahl’s decision to wear one outfit to work for three years, the trend of dressing consciously and adopting a capsule wardrobe is gaining momentum. But before we delve into the process of building a capsule wardrobe, let’s understand what it entails.

A capsule wardrobe is a thoughtfully curated selection of clothing with a long shelf life, designed to be interchangeable, allowing you to create multiple outfits with a limited number of pieces. The term “capsule wardrobe” was coined in the 1970s by Susie Faux, the owner of a London boutique called Wardrobe. Faux believed that a capsule wardrobe should consist of a few essential pieces that can be supplemented with seasonal additions.

The resurgence of capsule wardrobes can be attributed to the growing public awareness of the harmful effects of fast fashion on the environment and all living beings. Consumers today are more conscious of the impact their clothing choices have on the planet.

To build a successful capsule wardrobe and reduce fast fashion consumption, start by analyzing your lifestyle. Understanding your personal style and the pieces most suitable for your daily activities is essential. Ask yourself questions such as, “Do I need work-specific clothes? Do I need more travel attire? Do I need formal wear?” Considering your needs will help you stick to your capsule wardrobe without succumbing to impulsive purchases.

The next step is to declutter your wardrobe. Many of us tend to hoard clothes we no longer wear or need. Take everything out of your closet and assess each piece according to your style and lifestyle. Remove items that you haven’t worn in a long time, those that don’t suit you, or those that no longer fit. You can donate, sell, or recycle these items. Then, categorize the remaining pieces into sections like bottoms, denim, tees, blouses, etc.

The final step is to curate timeless and interchangeable pieces. Aim for 25-30 items per season. The foundation of a functional capsule wardrobe lies in versatility, with pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of looks for different occasions. If you feel that some basic items are missing after sorting your pieces, invest in those pieces sustainably and ensure they are long-lasting. Look for basic tops, versatile jackets, and consider neutral colors, as they work well to create cohesive looks for any season and occasion, as suggested by Surabhi.

When building a capsule wardrobe, prioritize quality pieces that are both functional and versatile. Avoid investing in items that will lose their appeal after a few years. Combat fast fashion by choosing clothing that suits your lifestyle and can easily be paired with other pieces, styled differently, and worn in various contexts. Pay attention to the weight, fabric quality, silhouette length, and ease of maintenance and washing.

For special occasions, if you find that none of the garments in your capsule wardrobe are suitable, consider renting something appropriate. However, remember that a capsule wardrobe is built gradually over time. Avoid the pitfalls of fast fashion with its low prices and ever-changing trends, as it leads to impulse buying and rapid discarding, resulting in waste that burdens landfills and contributes to environmental damage through unethical and unsustainable manufacturing practices. The garment industry is estimated to be responsible for nearly 10 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

In conclusion, choosing sustainable fashion and adopting a capsule wardrobe is a conscientious approach that benefits both you and the environment. By investing in quality pieces that suit your lifestyle, you can contribute to reducing the negative impact of fast fashion and make a positive change for a more sustainable future.

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