It's January 5th as I write this and I am already 5 days into breaking most my new year's resolutions. But I do have one goal this year that I feel confident that I can accomplish. It's an easy enough goal because it's a simple enough plan. My goal is to simply do a little better then the year before. This goal applies to many areas: my business, my family, my friendships, my self care, and my closet!
My goal for many years has to become a more ethical fashion consumer and to move toward a more sustainable fashion closet and although I'm not perfect, this year I will continue to take my baby steps toward that end.
Below are a list of a few easy techniques that I have found worked and few more that I am adding to my to-do list this year.
1.) Stalk before you Buy. Everywhere we turn there is advise to Buy Less! And although I agree that this IS the most important thing we can all do to become more mindful consumers, this advise is much easier said then done. I haven't eliminated shopping completely, but I have been very successful in reducing my binge purchases with the stalking method. It means I shop online more and in-person less. I keep a running tally of items on my wish list in my head with gentle reminders either via instagram companies that I follow or emails that I subscribe to. Virtual stalking allows me to ruminate over whether or not I really need an item. It also comes with an added bonus of virtual day dreaming which in my opinion is better then retail therapy anyway. The pay off comes months later when I finally hit the "buy now" button when I know I am making the right decision.
2.) Choose Quality. In my opinion, quality doesn't matter in every area. For example, I don't always seek out quality when purchasing my 12 year old daughter's leggings since she is growing at a rate on 2 inches per day. But I do seek out quality when looking for great staples for myself (a presumably fully full grown 40 year old.) I try to invest in areas where it matters most to me, such as shoes, jeans, sweaters, coats (obviously!) and underwear. Yes, I've started to invest in my underwear an it is paying off. Buying the right bras, underwear, and tanks tops can really help you feel great and start your day off right. They also last longer thus keeping you from re-purchasing these products every 6 months.
3.) Repair What You Have. This past year I have become very friendly with my local cobbler who has done a fantastic job resoling my shoes and fixing broken straps on my leather bags and sandals. I tend to be hard on my clothing (shoes in particular.) In years past, broken items would have been a call for a new one, but by simply repairing the pieces that I already love, I don't have to worry about finding that perfect replacement anymore and can return to my online stalking for more investment pieces.
4.) Reducing Plastic Waste part 1 This year I am resolving to continue to reduce my plastic waste and for these next two items, I'll be starting with my clothing, more specifically in my laundry room. I will be refilling my laundry detergent container (and other household cleaners containers) that typically come in single-use plastic bottles at my local coop. Fortunately for me, I have a local coop very close by that has bulk cleaners in stock so that I can I bring in my containers from home to refill at the store. But if you do not have this option, there are plenty of ways to avoid purchasing, recycling, and repurchasing that huge heavy plastic jugs of laundry detergent every month such as this one from seventh generation that comes in a compostable container.
5.) Reducing Plastic Waste part 2 the other laundry change that I am making in 2019 is to reduce my output of micro plastics. If you haven't heard about micro plastic pollution here is the quick run down. Essentially any of our clothing made of synthetic material (such as polyester, nylon, acrylic to name a few) are made of plastic. These same plastic fibers are shed during the laundering process and are released into our waterways and eventually our food supply (gulp, gulp, fish.) While one great way to avoid micro plastic pollution is to avoid purchasing garments made from synthetic fibers, most of us already own and wear clothing made from synthetic fiber on a daily basis (think fleece jackets and probably ALL of your workout clothing.) This new year, I purchased a guppyfriend. It is a re-usable laundry bag (which runs around $30) that captures 80% of the micro plastics in a common laundry load. While I may not be ridding the ocean entirely of its plastic pollution, it's a microscopic step that if we all take, could have a big impact toward keeping our water clean for generations to come.
Cheers to 2019!