Ethical fashion was not something I gave much consideration before Breanne brought up the idea for Salt & Light Trading Co. to me just over a year ago. I had heard of Elegantees, talked to friends who participated in #Dressember (wearing only one dress for the month of December to raise awareness for the current tragedy of human trafficking), and... that was the extent of my ethical fashion knowledge. ;)
Though shopping at my favorite big box stores has become less convenient for me over the last several years (#smalltownlife), they were still my main choice for buying new clothes. And while I still love the occasional respite in the aisles of Target ;), I’ve recently shifted my perspective on how to build a functional wardrobe for myself in more creative ways than what is available right off the mannequin.
Here are 3 ways I’m learning to build a clear conscience closet while living in grace…
(Not me, just the gorgeous Tiffany who matches my personal closet color palette! 😘)
Decide on a wardrobe color scheme. 💛
This may be a strange place to start, but I think it’s a great foundation for the rest of the ideas presented. We talked a bit about this in the previous post, but I want to mention it again! When you have a closet full of coordinating pieces, you’ll have the building blocks to put together more than one outfit with each piece of clothing you have. When it’s time to shop, you will be able to focus on what colors and styles you need to add to your wardrobe instead of purchasing every piece that you *think* you *might* be able to wear.
Thrift Shop. 💰
While Salt & Light has become my favorite place to shop 😌, I still love certain brands that come from big box stores too. I tend to gravitate toward them because I already know what size I need, so I can usually purchase something without needing to try it on first. But now, instead of heading to that particular store because I want some retail therapy 😏, I’m learning to look for those brands in thrift stores like Goodwill or Salvation Army. Don’t balk! I have some standards when hunting for pieces in these stores. 😉 Shopping second-hand is not only frugal, it is a environmentally friendly way to build your closet. The amount of clothing that is thrown away is almost unbelievable in the US. Thrift shopping means you are doing a small part to cut down on this giant environmental waste!
Host a clothing swap. 💃
This one is actually very, very fun! This can be a big event between friends, where everyone cleans out their closet and brings their gently used items, or it can be as simple as a trade-off between two friends of their unwanted or rarely worn clothes, shoes, and accessories. We’ll have a more in-depth post about this idea soon!
Shop Ethically Made Boutiques. 🌎
Whilst numbers 2 and 3 above are great ways to fill in the gaps that may exist in your wardrobe, we also have the opportunity to create a closet of high-quality items from small businesses like Salt & Light Trading Co. Shopping with us means that you are using your purchasing power to improve your closet, but more importantly, you’ll be apart of creating positive change in the lives of others across the globe. We have a great post about creating a functional and ethical capsule wardrobe here. :)
Walk in Grace. ❤
Sometimes an urgent need arises that sends you into the arms of your local Target for something to wear. Walk in grace, friend! Not many will be able to execute these ideals perfectly every step of the way, and that is okay. We need the long-term, big-picture mentality when it comes to our ethical fashion goals. We have been given much privilege and opportunity in our shopping options for which we can be very grateful. We can choose to utilize these great options and live in the comfort of knowing that God is in control. He sees and cares for those marginalized peoples that we are hoping to help, and He can do more for them than we imagine.
So, what do you think? Are you a girl who has a closet full of items that only come from ethical sources? Or are you just dipping your toes into the water by rocking a couple of Salt & Light Trading Co pieces? Whatever side you find yourself on, we are all in this together! And we are so thankful you choose to be in our S&L tribe.