true materialism

Materialism is often tied to valuing physical possessions above anything else. Avner Offer presents an alternative view of what materialism could mean; “Here true materialism offers a change of direction; a switch from an idea of a consumer society where materials matter little, to a truly material society where materials and the world they rely on - are cherished” (Fletcher, 2016. Pg. 188). This perspective shifts consumerism into a different paradigm; it does not weaken the value of material goods, but encourages the consumer to see the energy, time, resources, both human and natural, that go into the process of making one individual thing. An object is then valued as a resource, something that is made of substance and needs to be maintained because of its production and basic intrinsic value Fletcher & Grosse, 2014). By putting so much emphasis on each, individual thing, it almost becomes overwhelming to think about how many things one owns, and how an individual could possibly enjoy each and every thing.

Production

Jakita

Obtaining

Learning the Story of Your Garment: Learn about the production of a new garment before you purchase it. Take the time to find a brand that matches your values in their production. When you purchase a garment your money supports the system that produced that garment. Invest in systems that you want to see in the world!

How to apply this to your closet? 

Learn about the brand you purchase from before you buy. Check out Fashion Revolutions WHO MADE MY CLOTHES  project to learn more!

Being a Part of Your Garments Story: You don't have to purchase every garment you wear! Making your own clothes or participating in one of the stages in production is empowering for you as the wearer. Instead of a brand making decisions for you, you can make every decision at every step so that your garment not only shows off your personal style but your personal values as well. Make a garment that makes the impacts you want!

How to apply this to your closet? 

ALABAMA CHANIN

PERCEPHONE PANTS Be sure to follow #Percephonepants too!

Take sewing, pattern making, knitting lessons and apply these new skills!

Buying Pre-Owned Clothing:  Purchasing second-hand or vintage clothing continues the story of the garment because the garment has a life that continues after your use. 

Check out these resources to learn more:

ETSY

GOODWILL

Local secondhand stores near you

Borrowing from friends or family, don't be afraid to ask!

Value Your Garment, Purchase with a Commitment: 

When purchasing a new garment think about how long you will own it, how you plan to take care of it, and how long the garment is designed to last. Purchasing a garment you love and that you will commit to mending, altering, updating, and taking care of respects the natural and human resources used to produce that garment. Also, keep in mind how long you plan to own the garment. If you want to own the garment for years and years to come don't be afraid to invest in durability and value!

How to apply this to your closet?

Think before you buy! Decide your own shopping mantra and stick to it. Read this blog to read more about my own rule for purchasing new garments. 

Use/Reuse

You are in Relation with Your Clothing:  Purchasing Every garment that you own has its own story from how it is made, how it is used, and how it is disposed of. Each of these stages is an opportunity to create the clothing impacts you want, even after you have already purchased your garment. Every time you wash your clothing, if and how you mend your clothes if you alter and update your clothing so that you love them even more than when you purchased them! 

 

Check How to apply this to your closet?

Be deliberate about how you USE your clothing. Everything you do has an impact, find the practices that align with the clothing impacts your want.

 

Look at Kate Fletchers, CRAFT IN USE, book for more inspiration outside of this guide. 

Celebrating the story

Mending and Maintaining Your Clothing:  Mending is minding! When you maintain your clothing by reinforcing weak fabric and mending fabric broken from wear you are extending the life of your garment, reducing your need to purchase new garments, and reduces how many garments are thrown into the landfill just because of a simple hole. Also, by mending your own garments uses your clothing skill set which allows you to make every decision and further express your own personal style through how you maintain and mend your garments. 

Check out these resources to learn more:

Follow #visiblemending for some inspiration

Learn how to mend, take classes, learn new skills

Learn Sashiko mending, look at this tutorial and book to learn more

Learn more about the benefits of mending: CLICK HERE

Disposal

Recycle Old Garments:  Any old clothes that have reached the end of their wearing life can be donated to recycling centers. While there isn't a guarantee that every single garment is recyclable, as the recycling industry is continuously being updated with new technologies recycling centers are able to send your garments to the best facilities for that material type.

Check out these resources to learn more:

EARTH 911

Gift Your Clothing:  Some garments are so loved it's hard to say goodbye, yet they are not the right size, fit, or color to wear. Sentimental, handmade, clothes worn by loved ones are all garments that can still be loved. Borrowing or giving garments that you love but don't wear to family and friends allows the garment to still be worn and have a life while keeping the garment close enough to be loved. 

Check out these resources to learn more:

Click here to read this blog post about giving and receiving loved garments! 

Host a Clothing swap!

Donate Clothing:  Donating your clothing to a second-hand store or a free store continues the life of your clothing so that others can wear and love them. Most second hand-stores also will send any non-reusable clothes to recycling centers so that their resources can continue to be used in other products. Donating to free stores allows for your garment to be accessible to anyone that uses that resource.

Check out these resources to learn more:

Local second hand or free stores near you.

GOODWILL