welcome to the wardrobe

Welcome to the Wardrobe! I am so glad you are here! The wardrobe is an endless place to explore, full of ideas, innovations, and awesome people. This resource is designed to accompany your journey through the fashion commons.

 

Our clothing has endless impacts, from how it is made, purchased, used, reused, and disposed of. This guide is designed to help you identify systems, practices, and skills that have the impacts that reflect your own values. 

 

Your clothing is a powerful tool. Each concept helps you better understand how to use clothing not only to express your personal style, and to meet your personal needs, but to also reflect your personal values and desired impacts of clothing. Below you is an outline of how clothing is a tool, and how it can be used as a tool through your behaviors and mental approaches to better use clothing to reflect your personal style and values. You will also find on this page a quick rundown of how each concept is presented in this guide.

Finally, at the very bottom of this page is the link to Wardrobe Wisdom Toolkit.

 

Take a moment, dive in, and get some inspiration. This resource is designed for you. Start with what makes you excited and run with it! 

 CLOTHING IS AN EMPOWERING TOOL

 A tool is an object or device that is used to reach a specific goal or function.

                 

 

A friend once explained tools in relation to the user through the analogy of shadows. If you look directly at a human holding a hammer, you see a person holding a hammer. However, if you see only the shadow of the person holding the hammer, you do not see two separate outlines (human and hammer), but rather the outline of the human and hammer as one entity. Tools are an extension of the human identity. In every application and use of a tool the users identity, will, bias, and perspective is shown through the conception, process, and outcome of their work. This is to say that tools are equally a physical extension of our beings, along with an expression of our personal perspectives, worldviews, and values.

 

Therefore, clothing is this personal of a tool for each and every one of us. Every day we clothe our bodies in wearable tools that create a new outline of our body. These outlines not only reflect our individual use of these tools but also the production and systems in place that made the tools that we use. Whether deliberate or by default, the tools that we wear tie us daily to the complexities of production, global economies, communities, cultures, social structures and environments around the world that played a role in making our wearable tools.

                 

               

                 

                Every day, we are woven into these systems, structures and complexities solely by getting dressed. Therefore, clothing is an under considered, yet powerful and empowering tool. In addition, this is not an obscure tool; we all already have modern toolboxes -- closets -- full of them. Once we understand clothing as a tool, it is then up to us to decide how we will use these tools to shape and influence the world around us.

WHY THIS TOOL MATTERS

               

                   No matter what, your clothing has an impact. In how it is made, used, and disposed of, at every step of a garments lifecycle different impacts affect economies, environments, social structures, and cultures locally and throughout the world. These impacts can be perceived as positive or negative depending on the desired outcome of the producer and the user. Some outcomes producers and consumers may not be aware they are participating in or supporting because of lack of transparency and public knowledge concerning clothing supply chains. This means that by default, our actions are tied to outcomes that may not represent our personal values, but due to cultural norms we participate in, and therefore support systems, structures, and outcomes that go against our personal values and morals.

Here are some quick facts about clothing, to learn more click the link at the bottom of this section. 

25 % of chemicals produced worldwide are produced for the global textile industry (Fletcher, 2016)

20 % of global industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and finishing. (Fletcher, 2016)

132 billion pounds of textiles and footwear are burned or landfilled every year in the world (Fletche, 2016)

1,900 synthetic particles of plastic per wash are drained into local waterways every time a synthetic garment is washed (Fletcher, 2014).

The average garment designed in the fashion industry is designed to last six months.

When garments are designed to last for a limited amount of time it creates a cycle of dependence because the garment is not made of quality materials to be maintained, so the wearer must return to the store to repurchase clothing on a regular basis.

Mending, making, and altering the look of your clothing has also not always been valued or considered fashionable. Thus the clothing industry has 

clothing lifecycle

Production

               

                   Our individual identities are expressed through the outfits and garments we choose. Clothing helps us construct and mediate factors such as social normativity, expectations, and our projection of self-identity to the world (Kuchler & Schaffrin, 2016). Clothing not only helps us curate our personal identities; it gives us a visual, social language to express ourselves and help us decipher the identities of others (Holroyd, 2017). In this way, clothing is highly social and communicative.

Obtaining

               

                   Our individual identities are expressed through the outfits and garments we choose. Clothing helps us construct and mediate factors such as social normativity, expectations, and our projection of self-identity to the world (Kuchler & Schaffrin, 2016). Clothing not only helps us curate our personal identities; it gives us a visual, social language to express ourselves and help us decipher the identities of others (Holroyd, 2017). In this way, clothing is highly social and communicative.

Disposal

               

                   Our individual identities are expressed through the outfits and garments we choose. Clothing helps us construct and mediate factors such as social normativity, expectations, and our projection of self-identity to the world (Kuchler & Schaffrin, 2016). Clothing not only helps us curate our personal identities; it gives us a visual, social language to express ourselves and help us decipher the identities of others (Holroyd, 2017). In this way, clothing is highly social and communicative.

Use/reuse

               

                   Our individual identities are expressed through the outfits and garments we choose. Clothing helps us construct and mediate factors such as social normativity, expectations, and our projection of self-identity to the world (Kuchler & Schaffrin, 2016). Clothing not only helps us curate our personal identities; it gives us a visual, social language to express ourselves and help us decipher the identities of others (Holroyd, 2017). In this way, clothing is highly social and communicative.

post growth economics

Economic

Environmental

Social

Cultural

how to use the guide