Start your Ethical Wardrobe Without Spending a Cent

You can start your ethical and sustainable wardrobe right now without spending anything. Hi everyone, welcome to My Green Closet So if you started to learn about the horrible ethical and sustainable issues with fashion You've probably felt the desire to have a wardrobe that is sweatshop free and eco-friendly But how do you get there? Everyone who switches from fast to slow fashion gets sticker shock, and the process of researching and finding brands that are your style and reflect your values can be daunting and overwhelming. Conscious wardrobe conversations usually revolve around shopping and where you can buy a sustainable or ethical whatever and what brands are doing cool things in the industry. And while this is important, a major part of having a more responsible wardrobe is simply buying less, wasting less, and slowing down your consumption. I often get the question: "Do I need to get rid of all of my fast fashion clothes and replace them with ethical brands?" And my answer is always no. It not only is really expensive to do this, but it's not sustainable. It adds to the crazy amount of textile waste and uses a lot of resources to make all these new clothes. The best thing you can do is to use what you already have Making the decision to not buy something is the first and I think the most important step to a conscious closet. When your pieces need replacing you can then look into ethical brands or better yet shop second-hand. I have a video more about shopping for affordable ethical fashion which I will link up in the cards if you want to check that out. Don't feel guilty about fast fashion or unethical brands in your closet. I still have favourite pieces from before I started shopping consciously. It's not the labels in your wardrobe that determine if it's ethical and sustainable, it's how you consume. So things like taking time to think about purchases, prioritizing quality and longevity or caring for your clothes so they last. I also have no issues with buying fast fashion secondhand, although I do have a few caveats, which I talk more about in this video. You can make the decision right now to start having a more ethical and sustainable wardrobe without buying anything. It's not as glamorous or Instagrammable as a new eco fashion purchase, but it's arguably more important and should be celebrated. So I'd love to hear in the comments about something you were tempted to buy but decided not to Because these kinds of mindful choices are going to help shape and slow down the fashion industry. While it's really great to share ethical and sustainable fashion and some of the amazing brands in this space It's important to also remember that the root of a lot of issues in fashion actually comes from the incredible rate of consumption and disposal of clothing. So it doesn't matter how fairly made or eco-friendly something is if it's worn twice and thrown away and that's why even with these social and environmental responsibility initiatives from fast-fashion brands The main issue is still not being addressed, which is that the fast fashion business model itself is unsustainable. But this is probably a topic for another video. Anyways, thank you for watching and thank you so much to those are you supporting me on Patreon and I'll see you in the next one.

31 thoughts on “Start your Ethical Wardrobe Without Spending a Cent

  1. I just recently started watching your videos, and decided to go cold turkey on fast fashion and similar consumerism. I used to not buy anything, and got all my clothing second hand from a thrift shop, or someone I knew. Once I became an adult with a job, I started thinking of buying clothing as something adults did because they had "made it" and could afford to. I still don't shop as much as the average person, but I'm very tempted by little items that are cute. Today I almost stopped to look at/possibly buy a little clutch purse I saw randomly. Luckily I caught myself and thought "this is the same as buying a fast fashion shirt!" and quickly turned around. It's amazing how much we can buy without thinking about it, because we're used to doing it without asking ourselves why.

  2. I am having nearly quite an amount of jeans and when I get to know about sustainable fashion I dig in to our Indian brands and thought to buy 1 more but from sustainable company. But after watching ur video I stopped myself nd though I got my favorite pair already nd no need to give up my old one just to get one more.

  3. My sister had been wanting this top for a while at a store near me, so I stopped in to get it for her. I did find a shirt that I was tempted to buy, but decided against it because it didn’t make me feel amazing in it and in reality I have plenty of shirts already.

  4. I was about to buy a pink, fluffy top a few months ago (I had wished for it for so long), but then I realized the fabric was polyester. As I stood in the changing room I took up my phone and searched "worst fabrics to buy environmentally and health wise"-ish and polyester was number 1. I took a step back. Looked at the pieces I had picked out and choose only the yellow (iik acrylic) sweater for this time. A few weeks later the acrylic sweater totally gave in. I was happy I only bought the one.

  5. Thank you, I really enjoyed that video. What I usually do when I feel an impulse to buy is that I sleep on it. The next day, I can put things into perspective and make a wise decision. Another thing that I do is the "one more day without spending" philosophy. I find that at the end of the day I feel really empowered if I didn't give in to that impulse and to social pressure and to the system.

  6. This post really had me thinking. I have a medium to large sized wardrobe (well it's not minimal). I have paired down my clothing to what I really love and what fits me. A lot of what is left was bought mindfully second hand (mostly on Poshmark or through Facebook). I was listening to another podcast on the 333 method of capsule wardrobes and I kind of had an epiphany. Is it really sustainable or healthy to put away and not wear your clothes/accessories in such a rigid manor and to get rid of so many things just for the sake of minimalism? It got me thinking that to use what I have, care for it gently and enjoy the pieces I love (even it's a lot more than 33) makes more sense to me. I started a very loose system of monthly "capsules" where I took all my summer clothes (way more than a New Englander "should" probably own) and each month I rotate my dresses, skirts and tops. This way each piece gets worn multiple times that month, enjoyed and at the end of the season, I think I'll have an even better idea of what I actually love and what was just "ok". I feel best when I use and enjoy the purchases I make (whether it be clothes, beauty, jewelry) than to squirrel away all but 33 items and for what? They are already here….so enjoy what you have and take good care of it.

  7. Fab video that brings it back to the point of an ethical wardrobe–the habits/actions/intentions–when so many outlets focus a little too heavily on the labels and confuse people by swapping out one consumerist habit with another one which only addresses (one aspect of) ethical labour, not environmental sustainability. Your videos are endlessly helpful, Erin!

  8. I needed a jeans. After watching one of your videos, I went to our local second hand and found there suitable jeans for only 4 euros! My jeans from the store broke up very quickly, although they were expensive. I love my new ones! I bought a quality item in excellent condition, saved 60 euros. Purchased in second hand is interesting and you can find something special and good quality for a low price.And I know, I am doing a good thing for the planet. 🤗. Thanks for your story’s 💖

  9. This reminds me of how I am approaching buying leather. I am now vegan, but already owned leather couches and leather purses. I am using these things until they can no longer be used. I refuse to buy anything else leather for the rest of my life (not even second hand). I am now going to approach all of my clothes this way. I have a ton of fast fashion from before I learned about how bad it is all around. I will keep these pieces until they no longer work for me.

  10. Just found a wonderful thing ! There is a new type of washbag which is really good to remove microfibers from polyester etc so you can delay getting new stuff … its called Guppy Friend Ps whilst you’re at it check if you want and can support the guardian – they are doing excellent Work ds

  11. There’s a store in my mall that gives a percentage of their proceeds to charity. I was really tempted to buy from them, but because I watch your videos I went online to try and see where their clothes were coming from. It doesn’t matter how much you give back if you didn’t get the item in an ethical way to begin with. I couldn’t find the info on their website. So I didn’t buy. Simple as that. I might buy from them in the future if they share more about the origin of their clothes. They are really cute.

  12. there are many pieces that I didn't buy recently because I realized I like when my things tell some kind of a story. I have a very unique necklace that people often ask me about, and as there is a great story of how I got it I get to tell it whenever someone asks me about the necklace. I always hear how beautiful it is but moreover that they loved the story behind it! This made me realize that this is what I want my things to be and this is what I want them to do,
    so now instead of getting a winter sweater from a fast fashion or sustainable brand or a thrift store I much rather get it from back of my grandmother's closet or as a souvenir from my upcoming trip to Iceland! I feel like in general we all deserve better than mass produced "goods" (I hate this word, it implies a positive impact) with no soul, straight outta factory line. We need more unique, beautiful, handcrafted, special items in our lives! (I don't always follow this rule, I still wear normal socks not hand knitted ones from New Zealand 😂 but I hope everyone gets what I am trying to say here! 🤞)

  13. In defense of fast fashion (I can't believe I'm saying that, it sounds bad 😅) I have some pieces that I bought years ago and they stood the test of time really well, so what I tend to do now is I look for the brands that I love second hand. For instance I bought locally made bralette that is basically falling apart after only 1 year and I need to replace so I'll just find one from my favorite " fast fashion" brand second hand. Hopefully it will stay with me for years like others did and I prefer that over constantly researching and rebuying new "sustainable" brands and products (I know it's basically what you've said in both of your videos but I just felt like stressing it with my own words 😂)

  14. Every time I move out of my dorm I'm baffled by how much stuff I have but do not need.
    Last time I bought something was two months ago, but it was a need not a want – I had to replace an old pair of sneakers. But I didn't throw them out, instead I wear them when I work in my garden.

  15. So I have a question about this. I mostly buy things from thrift stores, but when I am in a thrift store I often fall trap to "Well it's only $5 so if I don't wear it a ton I'll just donate it back." I feel way less bad if I wear something from the thrift store twice then if I bought something at H&M and wore it twice. I think the problem is I can never predict what items of clothing I will end up wearing a ton. I often like things in the store and then after wearing them for a few hours realize they aren't comfortable. Or sometimes the item might not fit quite the same after I wash it. Or the item looked great in the store but doesn't seem to look quite right with the other clothes in my closet (and thrift stores don't have return policies). What do you think?

  16. Thank you very much for this video! I really needed it. I started many months ago with the buying diet you proposed and it went ok, but when I needed to start purchasing some items again this journey has become really hard and stressful. It's hard to explain, many people don't understand it and so it's hard to get help. There is the budget issue and the fact that it's hard to find second hand stores in my area, and buying through Internet second hand without trying on is risky. And on top of that I always found really hard to find my style which gets more complicated because I found ethical brands to have often (not always but very commonly) a similar and very specific style which I know I don't like. Aaaanyway I found your videos really helpful and supportive for those of us that are struggling in making our first baby steps towards a Greener closet, so, again, thanks!!!

  17. I love the retro style dresses you can find rather cheaply online. but when I started watching your videos and becoming more aware of the ugly truth of fast fashion, I looked at these dresses a different way. I too felt guilt of the ones I bought, but decided to "start today" and allowed myself to enjoy my few dresses and didn't buy anymore.

  18. I agree with this 100%! When i started watching your videos at first i wanted to get rid of everything in my closet but really it’s about increasing the lifespans of the clothes you already have. Your channel inspired me to do a slow fashion brand business proposal and because of this me and my group mates are learning so much about the environmental and social and economic harm of fast fashion! I think they’re also slowly converting to this great lifestyle! Thanks again <3

  19. Sharing this! Oh, and the last thing I decided not to buy was an over-sized linen-rayon dress from a consignment store. I didn't like it exactly the way it was so I thought I would alter it a bit. But then I remembered that I'm not the best seamstress, and the last several times I've bought items with alterations in mind, it didn't go as planned!

  20. i love this idea, i only buy new shoes (once they wear completely out), intimates and basics (i also buy used basics as well) but sincei use them for several years on repeat so those wear out faster. Luckily I'm the smallest person in my circle of friends so they donate their old clothes to me. Once i go through whats my style and i can use I give the rest to my friends little sister and the rest to the local community clothes closet. Whatever they don't sell gets sent to textile recyclers so i know the clothing I get will end up in the right places.

  21. So true! We need to celebrate more that we have had things for a long time instead of being 'oh this old thing'. I love how Livia Firth is doing exactly that on her instagram. She shares about clothes both she have had for a very long time, making it into a positive thing. She also shares pictures of celebrities wearing things again – which is unusual to see at the moment.

  22. Love this! Last night I actually went through my "scrap" bags, old clothes that I may use someday for sewing crafts, or rags, etc. I found three white t-shirts with stains, but am now rethinking whether they're really scrap-worthy yet. I think I could tie-dye them! A great summer project, and three possible "new" shirts! 🙂

  23. I only buy clothes in Thrift stores. I absolutely will not shop retail. I’ve been doing this most of my life & I just turned 67 😍. It makes me happy to know the the younger generations are being more mindful about consumerism 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

  24. This is the second time I thought you have cut your hair to a short pixie style w bangs. It would suit you!

  25. I'm not buying things that are almost perfect. Like a perfect fit but wrong color, something a little bit tight, or something I don't currently have the undergarments for. I have started putting the same amount of importance and thought into a $4 dollar dress I thrifted as I would a $150 dollar dress from a boutique. I want to honor each purchase with care and thoughtful objectivity.

  26. I just got rid of all my polyester clothes because I hate the way they feel on my skin. I got rid of two bags (gave to my mom so she can wear if she wants, and she will share with my sister) but I only bought 5 things to replace all that with. I feel so free that I can go out and not feel like I need to buy things because my closet is complete and I know what I want.

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