The Beautiful Diversity Of The Conscious Wardrobe
Unlike the impression that can be given by some of the more absolutist embodiments of a conscious lifestyle (like veganism, or zero waste), there is no one right way to build a conscious wardrobe. And although there is much work to be done to clean up the fashion industry, I think this opens up a beautiful diversity that is worth celebrating.
Because a conscious wardrobe doesn't have to be minimal. It doesn't need to be a capsule. You're not required to wear a uniform. You don't need to track down piles of gorgeous vintage treasures, or learn to sew, or curate an impressive collection of investment pieces from luxury ethical brands.
A conscious wardrobe could involve any one of these things, or it could be some combination of them. It might even be something else entirely (like rented, for example). Essentially, the size, shape and look of a conscious wardrobe will be determined by the personality and lifestyle of its owner. Are you a minimalist or a collector? Do you express your creativity through clothes, or are they one of life's practicalities? What do you do on an average day? How much can you afford (or want) to spend on the clothes you wear? All these variables and more make for a wide range of right answers. It is especially important to remember that all the answers here are right, when you find what truly works for you.
Woven into these considerations, a conscious wardrobe also represents the personal ethics of its owner. It might be strictly vegan. It might contain second-hand leather, wool and silk. It might contain new animal materials that have been ethically sourced and produced. It could comprise solely organic and natural textiles, or include pieces made from recycled plastics and synthetics. It might be fair trade, or profit different charities or organisations, or benefit a particular sector of the community.
Individually and collectively, we are all working out what ethical means. Our ideas on this will doubtless continue to change as we learn more about the impact of our actions on other people and the world, and find new ways of promoting the positive and avoiding the negative. So it seems that once we are committed to trying to seek out the best possible (or perhaps, least worst) options, there are no fixed right or wrong answers. There is just the opportunity to keep moving, collectively and imperfectly, in the right direction.
Not to overlook the very real challenges, all this means that a more conscious wardrobe can take on myriad different forms, reflecting a range different ethical positions to represent your own life and personal style. And this is wonderful, don't you think?
Over to you! What does your conscious wardrobe look like right now?