January 05, 2021

Now that we have entered 2021, I have decided to transition another area in my house to zero waste - my walk in closet.  

This is going to be difficult.  

I have looked on many minimalist websites for information on how to achieve this, and I hope to find time to clear out my closet this weekend.  

I normally changed my closet from Fall/Winter to Spring/Summer every 6 months, and donated what I did not wear, however I had a hard time letting go of pieces that I know darn well I still would not wear in the years to come.  My shoe collection will definitely be the hardest to minimize.  I may keep a few for "artistic purposes", which could be 65% of them.

My goal is to reduce my closet to 36-37 pieces per season which is 3 months in some areas, or 6 months in others.  Items excluded are undergarments from the count. 

The items should be interchangeable and the fashion choices should be based on your style.  I am an outdoorsy, t-shirt and jeans kind of person.  I like to be comfortable, yet edgy.  Michigan can be cold, or hot and muggy and somewhere in between, and I like to dress appropriately for the weather.  Classy styles are a must since I do like to layer sometimes.  

I found a useful 5 step process to create a wardrobe capsule that has the following processes:

1. Choose a base color

2. Select Neutral coordinating essentials

3. Choose an accent color

4. Add a few patterns and layers

5. Choose shoes and accessories

The rules are that you cannot buy any clothing unless you are replacing a worn out item, or you have outgrown the item.  If you buy an item, you must donate, give it away, or sell an item in your closet to a resale shop.  If you do buy an item, you should consider the following:

1. Where is this made?

2. Is this made in an ethical way?

3. Is this made in an environmentally conscious way?

4. Are the materials high quality? 

5. Did you buy from a local resale shop? 

Consider that when items are cheap, that means the labor was cheap, and most likely was made in a sweatshop in cruel work conditions.  Consider the carbon emissions for sending the items halfway around the world.  When you buy high quality, local items, they last longer, plus you save more money with a minimalist closet and you put money back in your community. 

Consider selling items back to a resale shop for gently used items or having a garage sale or yard sale.  It is important to keep these items in the community for others to use.  When you donate clothing, be careful of who you donate to, because much of our donated clothing can end up in ocean containers that are shipped to 3rd world countries where the clothes end up in piles outside exposed to the elements and rot away, or are sold instead of donated.  Consider a Nextdoor, a local church or soup kitchen, or a women's shelter instead.  Keep it local!  

I will post before and after pictures, this is a big step for me, however I love purging stuff.  

What is your zero waste plans this year?  





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