Most of us already know that we don’t wear every piece of clothing in our closets. In recent years, our wardrobes have expanded tremendously as garments became more affordable–thanks to fast fashion, but what impact does that have?
Recent research has found that half of an average person’s closet hasn’t been worn for a year or more. In the meantime, most of us remain unaware of this, thinking that we wear a much larger share of our collection than we do.
Why don’t we wear the clothes we own?
There are various reasons for not wearing the clothes we own—realising that can help us be warier with future purchases and prevent the pieces that won’t be worn from entering our closet.
Many of us receive clothing as gifts – some of which may differ from our actual taste. If you don’t like a garment, you won’t wear it - but you’ll likely feel guilty about re-gifting, selling, or donating the gifted piece.
We also often hold onto aspirational clothing – the jeans we bought as a motivation to lose weight a few years ago or the formal dress we never got to wear because we’re never invited to occasions fancy enough. Stop buying and holding onto these garments – they’re cluttering up your space and adding to your environmental impact.
Another significant contributor to the unworn clothes we own is ‘fast fashion’. The whole business concept is based on encouraging us to buy more cheap clothing, which we’ll soon discard. Fast fashion also creates psychological pressure to buy a garment ‘before it’s gone’, as stores rotate stock so quickly. This makes us purchase clothing without thinking about whether we’ll make good use of it.
Let’s promote conscious clothing
It’s time we all shifted our perspective from fast fashion and quick purchases to conscious clothing. Here are a few of our favourite ways to promote conscious clothing and build a sustainable wardrobe:
- Ask your loved ones not to buy you clothing gifts or create a wish list to share with them.
- If you receive a gift that’s not your style or size, do your best to find a new home for it – with someone who will love and appreciate it.
- Don’t buy a piece of clothing unless you can name five occasions in the near future when you could wear it.
- Stop visiting fast fashion stores – they create a fear of missing out in your mind, pressuring you to buy garments you don’t need.
- Before you buy any piece of clothing, sleep on it and gain some perspective.