30 Days of Retail Restraint May Inspire a New Minimalist Wardrobe Mindset

30 Days of Retail Restraint May Inspire Minimalist Wardrobe

Sometimes less really is more, especially when it comes to our wardrobes. In fact, some professional women and bloggers have made a lifestyle choice opting for a permanently clean closet in exchange for a minimalist wardrobe consisting of their most significant separates. And with Shop Drop 2016 underway this January, now is the perfect time to explore the concept of sparse, more sustainable style.    

If the idea of minimalist living intrigues you, but the thought of jumping headfirst into the stereotypical austere existence consisting of less than 5 pairs of shoes – gasp! – frightens you, then you’re actually the perfect candidate for taking the Shop Drop pledge and partake in 30 full days of retail restraint. This means, rather than ditch the majority of clothing you already own, simply agree not to add to your current collection, aside from consigned, thrifted, or swapped fashion, for one month, beginning in January 2016.

The Shop Drop challenge is being hosted by Rachel Sarnoff over at Mommy Greenest, and is sponsored by the largest online consignment and thrift store thredUP, with the intent of this public project aimed at breaking the fast fashion cycle. Sarnoff’s blog has some interesting facts regarding the impact our retail habits and clothing have on the environment that are worth sharing:

  • The average American woman spends $60 on clothes and trashes six pounds of textile waste each month.
  • If the 160 million women in America took the 30-day shop drop pause, nearly one BILLION pounds of landfill waste could be saved.
  • If 1,000 women sign up (the Shop Drop pledgee goal) for the challenge, then 6,000 pounds of textile waste, on average, would be saved.

So, if thrifting for clothes and accessories more often, or simply deciding to shop and own less altogether sound like some techniques you’d like to use in order to whittle down your wardrobe, then it’s important to know what steps you can take to accomplish your goals. Although the Shop Drop challenge is a great place to start, we’ve got some other suggestions on how to get started with minimalism for a more streamlined, sustainable wardrobe that’s still big on style.

Below, we have highlighted several conscious fashion tips from popular minimalist living blog Into Mind, combining her invaluable advice with a few suggestions from us. This little list should undoubtedly provide you with some useful advice on how to begin approaching the lifestyle.

  • Into Mind states that a wardrobe is not minimalist because of a smaller size, neutral palette, or lack of patterns or details, but because it follows the key of idea of minimalism, which goes like this: purge everything that doesn’t make you happy or enrich your life, and make room for the things that do.
  • Rather than cram your closet full of purchases made on a whim or a bunch of bargain buys (like fast fashion) that you only sorta kinda like, really take the time to think about what works best for your lifestyle, your body type, and your personal style. We say: make sure you’re spending your cash on something worthy – a piece that won’t find its way into the trash after a few weeks of wear.
  • Into Mind emphatically states that a minimalist wardrobe shouldn’t be misconstrued based on the idea that it’s supposed to be tiny, and that the number of pieces you actually own are up to you, but should adhere to a quality over quantity notion.
  • Start the sorting process by isolating all of your favorite pieces (the ones you wear again and again) and create another pile for the things you haven’t worn in a long time. Then, figure out the differences between these two piles (color, fit, style, etc.) so you can determine why you wear some more than others in order to avoid making the same buying mistakes in the future.
  • Check out Into Mind’s excellent guide on how to build the perfect wardrobe utilizing the site’s ten basic principles, like selectivity, definition, authenticity, etc., that are too practical (and awesome) to ignore.

Consider testing the waters of a minimalist wardrobe by challenging yourself to Shop Drop 2016’s goal of 30 consecutive days’ worth of retail restraint. This will definitely help you get a feel for the less-is-more-lifestyle, allowing you to slowly ease into the concept rather than jumping in feet first.

What do you think about the Shop Drop challenge? Could you thrive on a minimalist wardrobe, or just survive? Do you think this lifestyle helps or hinders your creativity? Let us know what you think on the EcoSalon Facebook page!

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Image of Hanging Clothes via Shutterstock

Jamie Duncan

After starting out in public relations, Jamie finished college with a BFA in interior design. This combination of writing and design knowledge, coupled with her fashion and lifestyle expertise, has paved the way for an exciting freelance career. Her work has been published in magazines and online, plus she’s managed PR campaigns, and is no stranger to copywriting. Jamie’s a vegetarian and cruelty-free product fanatic. Connect with her on Twitter and check out her website to learn more.