Starting immediately, for an extra $5/month, you can add shoe and purse rental to your membership. Or, for $10/month you rent five items of clothing at a time.
Some within the clothing industry believe clothing is the number two polluter in the world, right next to the oil industry. Because the clothing industry is incredibly complex: long supply chains, manufacturing, clothing construction, shipping, and the disposal of the each item, we may never know it's full impact on the environment.
There are easy things we can do today to lessen the environmental impact: dispose of our unwanted clothing sustainably, change the way we consume, and when we do purchase clothing, purchase from the used market.
1. Dispose of unwanted clothing by donating.
Only about 15% of textiles are donated each year, the rest ends up in landfills. An outstandingly low number when you realize what happens to donated clothing. The average American throws away over 80 pounds of textile waste per year. These discarded textiles are typically made out of synthetic material that takes hundreds of years to decompose.
Instead of throwing away textiles, donating them is the environmentally responsible thing to do. Most thrift stores, including Goodwill, make sure that damaged or unwanted clothing gets recycled. In fact, half of the clothing donated ends up recycled. 30% ends up as rags and 20% is processed into fiber for things like furniture stuffing, insulation, etc. What happens to the other half? Well, 20% is sold locally, 25% is sold overseas to developing nations, and about 5% is deemed unusable due to mildew.
2. Change the way you consume.
With the advent of fast fashion, we are consuming more clothing that ever; 80 billion new pieces a year. That's 400% more than we did in the 1990's. Because we are consuming so many clothes, we treat them as disposable goods rather than the durable goods they are (or should be).
We need to drastically change the way we consume clothing. Buying clothes because they're deeply discounted or because new styles are coming from H&M and Zara weekly is not sustainable, not to mention, good for your wallet.
That's why Valhalla was founded on the principle of the collective closet. Instead of each individual owning hundreds of items that are rarely worn, we can share a neighborhood closet of thousands of ever changing items; clothes that have a continuing life instead of being discarded after a couple of wears. The collective closet actually lets you consume more but in an incredibly environmentally sustainable way.
3. Purchase used clothing.
Voting with your dollar is one the of the most powerful and easiest way to make a statement about your values. Consumerism is alive and well in the US and one of the best ways to reduce the waste from this behavior is to buy used when possible and when it comes to clothes, there are lots of used choices. Buying used means that you're reducing manufacturing demands - and all that slave labor - and helping keep clothing out of landfills; a double whammy deal!
It's Spring, the time of year you reassess the items you accumulated throughout your life, specifically the items in your closet. I'm going to tell you the secret to having it all: a clutter free closet, cash from unwanted items, and the ultimate: never saying "I have nothing to wear" ever again. The secret: a capsule wardrobe supplemented with Valhalla's collective closet.
The Secret to Having it ALL
- Clean, organized closet
- Minimalist lifestyle
- Turning your unwanted items into value
- Access to a community closet of over 2000 ever changing items
- Best of all, never saying "I have nothing to wear" ever again
What is a capsule wardrobe?
A capsule wardrobe is where you ruthlessly cut your current wardrobe down to almost nothing; between 30 and 35 pieces, including shoes. You can keep the accessories but the few items you're left with are the items you'll be wearing exclusively for the next few months. You'll want these pieces to be items that pair well with other items; usually neutral colors.
Sounds boring right?
I like variety. I know, that's not exactly the point of a capsule wardrobe.
I like the minimalist idea of a capsule wardrobe, in fact, I've embraced it hardcore. I only have about 15 items of clothing but I religiously wear something different every single day. In my closet, I only have the "essentials" that work with other items; cardigans, camisoles, leggings, etc. To supplement these essentials, I have a community closet, Valhalla, full of different items in different sizes (for the weeks I eat salads and the weeks I don't). I don't have to have my closet cluttered up with items I'll only wear a hand full of times and best yet, I don’t have to spend money on buying clothes.
How to do it?
Start by taking every single thing out of your closet. I mean every s.i.n.g.l.e. item needs to come out. There are a couple reasons everything needs to come out: 1. How are you supposed to see anything with all the clutter? 2. You need to evaluate every item in there, might as well do it comfortably instead of hunched and crunched in the closet.
I suggest placing it on your bed, that way you have no excuse to put it off once you get started. If you're not finished that day you'll be sleeping on giant piles of clothes. Ugh!
Let the Sorting Begin!
You'll need to make a two piles:
L.O.V.E. Pile: this pile is only for clothes that look fantastic on and you will wear. Not, "I might wear" or "I used to wear". Straight up, this pile is only for "I'm going to wear." This pile is not for items with sentimental value. If you have a couple things that you feel you need to keep for the memories, take them and put them somewhere else; somewhere they'll be safe but not seen on a daily basis.
Sell/Donate: Get rid of everything that doesn't belong in the love pile. If you don't love something, it doesn't deserve closet space. Everything, including damaged or very worn items should go in this pile. "Why donate damaged clothes?" you ask. When you throw away clothing it ends up in a landfill decomposing at an astonishingly slow rate - Not good for the environment. When you donate to a thrift store, about 50% of items end up being recycled anyway so why not let it be donated instead of ending up doing harm to the environment? Remember: Valhalla purchases used clothing for store credit and will donate anything we don't take.
Notice I didn't leave room for a "maybe" pile. A capsule wardrobe has no room for "maybe" items. You'll need to be excited to wear every single item your closet. After all, the point is to be left with a small amount of items that work well together and fits you in both style and size.
As we live in Florida, I suggest leaving no room for winter items except for one jacket and a coat (if you have one) in case you travel somewhere cold.
A traditional capsule wardrobe should comprise everything you'll wear for the next few months or longer and nothing else so it's essential that all the pieces work together to give you the maximum variety in composing outfits.
Capsule Wardrobe + Valhalla's Collective Closet
Having access to Valhalla's collective closet, I keep only things that are essential for supplementing my rentals. I usually don't even wear my own clothes at all since I typically choose to wear a dress from Valhalla but if I choose a tunic, I'll pair it with my own leggings. Or if I know I'm going somewhere chilly, I'll throw on a cardigan of my own. It keeps my closet clutter free and makes getting dressed in the morning oh so easy!