Creating a capsule wardrobe is a creative thinking process. It is a time where you reflect on what is working in your wardrobe and what is not. You ask yourself questions like, why don’t you like to wear this item that you just had to have at the time? It’s also a time to look ahead at where your life is taking you for the next few months. Maybe, you have recently decided to make better choices regarding your health, or maybe a new career opportunity has presented itself. That’s what being conscious is all about. It’s an awareness of where you’ve been and where you are heading. Your wardrobe plays a undeniable part in your life, yet why do some women deny themselves the time to make adjustments? We just keep going, and going, purchasing and purchasing, looking for a cheap deal, and never arriving at any level of satisfaction with our clothing.
I truly believe that stuff doesn’t make me happy, but being inundated with things to buy that promise better, or easier, or healthier is often hard to ignore. When I got to the end of my stuff-buying-and-still-ain’t-happy rope this past summer, I began praying and journaling about what would make me truly content with my wardrobe, and I discovered that my list of “requirements for happiness” had nothing to do with clothes, but centered around giving to others. Giving others of my time, or money, or friendship, etc. is what makes me truly happy. Giving to others is a form of showing them love. How basic is this concept? Love others. I’m pretty sure that’s in the Bible like a gazillion times.
I was still at a loss of how to connect loving others with my wardrobe, which was the cause of my happiness search to begin with. How could I love others by dressing my body? Then I saw the documentary The True Cost being talked about all over the internet, and it changed my life forever. I was now completely aware of where my clothing came from, and how my spending habits, and buying power had NOT been loving others at all.
It was then that I decided that I was going to vote with my dollar every time I bought a new piece of clothing. I was going to make conscious decisions that would give back to other human beings. It may seem small to some, but to me every time I buy something from a factory in another country that treats their employees (mostly women) as human beings, instead of machines, it brings me pure joy. Every time I buy something from an American made brand, it gives me joy to support small business’. When I buy jewelry or clothes that are made from the hands of women who are receiving education and training in areas where they would typically not have, or who have survived sex-trafficking, or people who are no longer addicted to alcohol or drugs, from companies who invest their time into finding employment for these people, it brings me the kind of happiness that I was missing before!
The contentment that I was seeking in my wardrobe was never going to be attainable because I was blindly buying clothing from factories that exploit their workers. These clothes weren’t made with love and care. They were made to be replaced in a few months. They were of no real value. They weren’t made to make me happy. They were made to be replaced so that I would have to keep buying them over and over again.
Now that my wardrobe has grown a conscious, I will never be able to make flippant choices regarding clothing again. My happiness lies in the happiness of the person making my clothing. The cheap $6 t-shirt that brought me two minutes of happiness from Target or Old Navy has been traded in for the $30 t-shirt that brings me happiness because I can wear it with a clear conscious, and it won’t need replaced in a month – because it’s well made.
Brands like Everlane, and Jamie & the Jones are transparent brands to name just two of my favorites that I can feel great about purchasing from. Just look at the packaging. Somebody loves you. -from Everlane. And, they actually thanked me by name from Jamie & the Jones. Seriously? How is that for connecting with actual human beings? It is human beings who make our clothes after all. Let’s not forget that.
Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day. – Sally Koch