6 Reasons to downsize to a Minimalist Wardrobe that are good for you and the planet.

In moving towards an eco-friendly lifestyle, less is more.

And this is especially true for your closet.  There are numerous reasons to adopt a minimalist wardrobe. Here are 6 of them.

money saving tips
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1. Saves money!

When you aren’t out shopping every weekend to keep up with the latest fast fashion trends, you find that…there really isn’t a reason to shop!  Constructing a minimalist wardrobe with only a few, versatile items can significantly cut down on your annual clothing budget.

Once people make the change and see it working they realize it’s nice having extra money to go out to eat more often, or save for a vacation faster.

And fast fashion WANTS you to spend money on their sector of the economy. That’s literally the whole point of “seasons” (Minus the dedicated artists who truly love artistry and design).  But most of us would rather have extra dough so we can DO stuff, rather than HAVE stuff.

save water
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2. Saves water.

A honed, properly maintained minimalist wardrobe is environmentally friendly.

Most of us live pretty clean lives.  So how dirty can your clothes really get after just 1 day in the office?  Or on the couch? Or in class?  Now, if you work on a farm or in a trade job, that’s a different story, but even then, the use of coveralls(which I love for farm work) or a daily uniform can still reduce the amount of laundry you have to do every week.

Part of downsizing is buying quality, and whenever you buy quality, you really want to take better care of each piece.  Plus, machine washing is one of the main reasons clothing deteriorates so quickly.

With fewer items of clothes, you might not even have a full load of laundry, and it wouldn’t be unreasonable to just wash what you have by hand.  Hand washing your clothes can further reduce your water usage.  And because it is so much more gentle, your clothes will last longer, compounding point

reduce consumer waste
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3. Cuts down on consumer waste.

Buying less, washing less, clothes lasting longer…sounds like there is physically less matter coming down the production pipeline.

The fashion industry is full of hidden waste contributing to the carbon footprint of an item. Waste the consumer never even sees.

Take a button down shirt for example.  Look where the seams are.  Now look at the pieces of fabric those seams are holding together.  There is a good chance they are irregular shapes.  Imagine trying to fit those irregular shapes onto a rectangle of cloth.  How much cloth do you think it will take?

A lot actually.  Those irregular pieces don’t fit well together and end up with a lot of spaces in between.  And all the extra bits?  They end up on the cutting room floor, which ends up in a landfill.  Up to 20% of the material that goes in, comes out as garbage(see source).  That’s like buying a dozen eggs and then throwing one of them plus a second yolk in the trash…just because.

Another hidden part of the awfulness is in the distribution.  It’s standard practice throughout the garment industry that every piece ships in its own individual little plastic baggy.  Then retail employees remove that plastic bag and it goes…you guessed it…to the landfill!  All before you, the consumer, are even aware of it.

By simply cutting down on the number of pieces you are adding to your wardrobe on a regular basis, you help to eliminate this substantial resource sinkhole

save space
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4. Saves space.

You have to put your clothes somewhere.  Even if you have a generous walk in closet, you don’t have to make a mission of filling it up.

The average American woman owns 30 unique outfits! Basically one a day for a month. (see source), Don’t worry, no blame shame here, the fast fashion industry uses a lot of psychology to get you to believe you need that many clothes. Just imagine if you cut that down to just 7 outfits, one for each day of the week.  You’d free up 3/4 of your closet!

Fewer clothes means more closet space for that meditation zone you’ve been craving.  Or even your own micro office..

decision fatigue

5. Avoids decision fatigue.

Your brain is like a muscle. Use it more, it gets stronger. Use it too much and it becomes exhausted.

All day, every day, we have to make decisions.  Even when we aren’t aware we are making them.  It’s a lot for our brains to handle. And the decision we often start with?

“What am I going to wear today?”

With a minimalist wardrobe, especially a daily uniform, the answer to the above question is easy: the same thing I wore yesterday.  No effort required.  No mixing and matching, no color coordinating.  Because you did all that when you put your minimalist wardrobe together. Now you just grab.  And save the decision power for later.

This is a huge trend among highly successful people.  Barack Obama, Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs; these successful people have tapped into the time and energy saved by wearing a daily uniform. (see source)

feel like yourself
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6. Feel like you, every day.

It’s safe to say that most of us have a favorite (blank) we like wearing.  That red shirt that makes you feel bold.  Those particular jeans that make your butt look good.  That cut off tee that makes you feel ‘swole’ at the gym.  We all have our thing.

So why not wear your favorite thing every day?

When you wear anything that is your non-favorite you notice.  The shirt you wear only when you’re trying to impress, but it’s too tight and you feel squeezed all day.  You try to ignore the feeling.  Maybe you do.  But you’re still slightly distracted.

Why not just get rid of the distraction? I once had a boss who said “you have to suffer for beauty.”

Eh, I don’t think so.  I think I look more beautiful when I actually feel comfortable.  It’s the perception of myself that brings out my inner beauty.  Not a really tight pair of pants or fancy shoes that are too stiff.  Want to make a statement about who YOU are?  Minimalist wardrobe – all the way.

Use these 6 points to support your own wardrobe shift.  Check out the post on how to create a daily uniform, and dive in.

What’s your reason for pursuing a minimalist wardrobe?  Share in the comments below.

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