The Conscious Closet

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THE CONSCIOUS CLOSET

Elizabeth L. Cline

Plume Books

August 20, 2019

368 Pages


Wow, this book opened my eyes. I had no idea how much fashion contributed to global warming and global waste. Good grief, we really are using our planet as our own personal trash can…

By far, the most important action I took while reading this book was cataloging the clothes I already have. And by “catalog” I mean that I made a spreadsheet and wrote down each main piece of clothing I own (the everyday stuff like t-shirts, tops, pants, jackets, workout wear, and shoes). Then I recorded the brand name, the material content, and where the article of clothing was made. That in itself was eye-opening—not only to see the sheer number of items I own (and to calculate the very small percentage that I’ve actually worn in the past year, yikes), but also to see the materials that I wear, how quickly some of the cheaper ones have worn out, and where my clothes come from. I expected everything to be made in China, but that wasn’t the case. Most of my clothes were made in Vietnam and Indonesia.

On a side note, my cashmere sweaters are made in China, because the fiber that the fabric is made of comes from a Tibetan goat. The first cashmere sweater was made in Kashmir, so that’s why we call it that. Fascinating factoid, right?

This book has honest-to-God changed the way I dress myself. There are three main adjustments that I’m already in the process of making:

  1. I have so many pieces that I can wear that I currently don’t, and I am finding more creative ways to wear what I have.
  2. While going through my closet, I discovered that I have way more tops than bottoms and lots of repeats of everything, which means I pretty much wear only two “looks.” If I were to buy maybe one or two different types of bottoms, like a long winter skirt or wide leg pants, I’d be able to switch up my silhouettes and stretch out my wardrobe options.
  3. Last, and probably most important, I’m going to buy better quality clothes and I’m going to buy less often. The author is a big proponent of clothes swapping and buying second hand, too, but I’m just not there yet. I’d rather buy a really nice sweater and wear it until it disintegrates. That’s just more my speed, since I hate shopping.

Overall, just an absolutely fantastic read. I zipped through this one and got so much out of it.

3 thoughts

    1. Yes, I totally agree! Having this time to really sit and think about how we affect the planet has been an unexpected benefit of covid. This book really opened my eyes to the problem of fashion waste. Sometimes we just don’t even realize the damage we’re causing, you know? All we can do is take those baby steps toward making better choices. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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