My closet doesn’t exactly scream “Vegan!” Other things might be obvious first. “Sparse” or “colorblind” might come to mind.
The thing is, I’ve been thinking a lot about clothes over the past year and from many different angles.
(1) I’ve looked at clothes from a fashion, personal style, body type, skin-tone level. You know, all those common fashion and style rules.
(2) I’ve looked at clothes from a Dress Your Truth (with Carol Tuttle) angle. Wherein one discovers what dominant energy one gives to the world and dresses to cue others into this as well as feel comfortable in one’s own skin.
(3) I’ve looked at clothes from a capsule wardrobe and minimalist-travel angle and paired down my closet considerably.
(4) And I’ve looked at clothes through the lens of Veganism.
I’m pretty proud of the result. I’ve got a very small capsule wardrobe tailored to my every day use. Currently, it also serves as a maternity wardrobe. I dress in a “Boho Camper Girl” style in colors and shapes that suit my body. I dress true to my Type 3 energy. And I no longer wear anything with any animal products. No wool, silk, down, leather, fur, etc. I’ve even made sure that the yarn I collect for knitting, crochet, and naalbinding is Vegan so I don’t accidentally make non-vegan clothing.
I have one faux-leather jacket and pair of faux-leather riding boots, but everything else is obviously Vegan.
Now, I didn’t throw away non-vegan clothing (or cloth or yarn). If I thought someone I knew could use them, I gifted them. And for those items I didn’t have a person in mind, I made a distinction. If I thought the item was good enough to be happily used by another, I donated that item. If I thought they didn’t make the cut, and might be thrown out, I hesitated. I figured that I would wear them out, but as time goes on, I’m less comfortable with that answer.
While my capsule is fully vegan, I’m still in the process of paring down my possessions and finding appropriate homes.
In the future, I will also be looking to make replacements made from natural plant fibers whenever possible. They are biodegradable and generally less toxic to produce (though conventional cotton and textile bamboo are both problematic). I will try to stay away from fleece as much as possible because this fabric tends to break down in the washing machine and cause microplastics to be released into our oceans. It’s a lot to think about. That is why I intend to use the first 3 of Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Five R’s in my plan of action:
- Refuse the clothing I do not need (no need for me to buy a cocktail dress, for instance).
- Reduce the clothing I do need (use a capsule and minimalist plan so that fewer garments enter my life).
- Reuse clothing (repair buttons and tears and buy used first).
My priority list will go like this:
- Is it Vegan?
- Is it me? (Does it suit my style, my lifestyle, my body?)
- If it is synthetic, can I accomplish the task with a natural fiber?
- Who and what benefits from this purchase?
Also as a reward for finishing this challenge, I plan to buy myself a Vegan message t-shirt and button to add to my capsule. That way, maybe my wardrobe can scream “Vegan!” when I want it to. 🙂
Until next time, keep that talk walking!