I am an advocate for materials. Like much of the artistic world, what we wear evokes a sensory experience within us that connects to our emotions, our nostalgia, and that most elusive feeling deep inside us which we spend a lifetime in search of: contentment. Jackets, skirts, pants, shoes, and everything else we put on our bodies matter.
It is because of the importance of these pieces that we must use them sparingly. If they are to resonate with us as deeply as we want them to, then we must fall in love with what we wear. Every garment and outfit should hug even the deepest and smallest crevices within us and provide us with an everlasting kind of warmth. Fast fashion is the enemy of this feeling.
Like any great love, our fashion choices should not be made quickly and should not fall into our laps so easily. What we wear should not come from someone else’s tears or dirty water or painful coughs. They shouldn’t shorten our lifetimes and hurt the earth we come from. They should not tear and fall apart the moment any sort of pressure is applied to it. They should not make us sacrifice a home or any other elements to a happy life.
What fast fashion does is cause us to believe that cycling through different styles every week is a reasonable purchasing habit. Fast fashion asks us to go numb to the truth and buy with impulse rather than purpose. Fast fashion glamorizes the shopaholic; it convinces us that everything we buy we need and also tells us the next week that we have nothing to wear.
The task then is to find a love different than that which we are used to– one so rare, but so rich that it lingers with the elements inside. We must find clothes with a story that will accept us and allow the new tales we add to be woven into the fabric. Our hearts must rest easy knowing that we haven’t hurt anyone or anything else in search of this great love. Our hearts must soar at the possibilities our clothes will open to us. Our hearts must not tire of what we wear, but rather find a deeper contentment with every wear.
Where does that love hide? Our soulmates can be found in minimalism. The minimalist wardrobe doesn’t ask for only white t-shirts and dark wash jeans. It doesn’t ask you to whittle your wardrobe down to utilitarianism. Minimalism is the compassionate, tender lover. Every piece of clothing is your favorite and you can afford to know where they come from. Every piece brings you joy and you imbibe each article with a little more love every time you wear it. It is purchasing with intentionality and empathy. It is an act of protest and an act of kindness.
We deserve a love that will last. To willingly cheat ourselves of that fleeting feeling; to cheat ourselves of memories and something so much grander and so much more romantic than practicality is to deny our clothes the extent of their capabilities. Allow yourself to impress upon your clothes and cherish everything you own. We live in a culture that wants us to float from one piece to the next, never giving much heed to that which is easy to shed. Resist: fall in love with your closet.