OK. So, I can become very passionate about something (read part 1) to the point of where I want to throw out everything that I’ve ever known and start from scratch again. After finding out that I have 55 slaves that work for me, via the Slavery Footprint web site, it was a little jarring. Then I felt so guilty after watching The True Cost. I felt like I’d rather walk around naked then put on those horrid clothes that I bought from H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Forever 21, anything else from the mall and Target too. I actually went to the mall and into H&M and felt sick to my stomach because I couldn’t stop visualizing the condition that the clothes were probably sewn in. I swore to NEVER EVER EVER under any circumstance buy anything there again.
And then do you know what happened?
I marched right in there the following week and bought a suit for my son’s homecoming dance! Can you believe it?
This is where my desire to do the right thing and real life interesect. They intersect at the two roads Compro and Mise.
How was I supposed to do this thing that weighed heavily on my heart? This is when I had to stop thinking about my failures as a newly informed consumer and turn my attention towards what I had done.
- become aware of something that I no longer wanted to support with my dollars.
- changed my whole attitude towards consumerism.
- actively began seeking alternatives.
- become an advocate for the ethical movement.
- educated my children on this not-so-pretty topic.
- started to care for the women and men that make my clothes.
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.
Have you ever had someone ask you, “What do you do?” It’s not very easy to answer. Women are multi-faceted, multi-tasking maniacs. I can be three people, accomplishing three different goals all at the same time. I’m mommy, teacher, wife all of the time. That button never gets turned off. And, I’m designer (business number one) and now personal stylist (business number two) part-time. Oh, and let’s not forget keeper of all family scheduling knowledge, follower of Christ, goat farmer, avid reader, creative thinker…
Where do you begin to answer that question without looking like a crazy person? In all honesty, I usually give the brief answer that impresses the most, depending on who I’m around. Don’t we all?