We’ve all heard of building a capsule wardrobe and how important it is specially if we don’t want to be over consumers and fall under the spell of constantly buying meaningless products. The goal of capsule wardrobe is to embrace the minimalist lifestyle, reduce clutter and simplify life.
For those who don’t know, building a seasonal capsule wardrobe means that we should have around 22-35 pieces in our wardrobe or 50-65 pieces in total. This also means that these pieces should be timeless basics, versatile, sustainable and will last us a long time. Versatile pieces can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits, maximizing your wardrobe. No matter how much your style changes these clothes will never go out of style and leave your wardrobe.
This all might sound complicated and feel very overwhelming but once you start getting staple pieces like a leather jacket or that perfect pair of jeans, you will always feel like you have the right outfit to wear.
So, you might ask where the element of sustainability comes in, since there is nothing sustainable about new leather jackets. Unfortunately, even though they can last forever, leather production generates considerable amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming.
To put this into actual numbers CO2e emissions for leather equal 17.0kg of CO2e per square meter of leather produced. In comparison, artificial leather’s total supply chain has an impact of 15.8kg of CO2e per square meter (source Collective Fashion Justice). So that one NEW leather jacket that you’re going to buy uses up to 176.0kg of CO2e.
This is why we embrace to buy one Vintage or Second hand. Vintage clothes are often more durable than modern as it's made out of natural materials, while todays fashion is made out of synthetic ones.
A surprising effect is that people 50 years ago were concentrating more on quality than quantity. That’s why Levis today can’t compare with quality of Vintage 501 Levis that you might be lucky to find at the Flea Market. Original 501s were commercialised as what we call today ‘RAW Denim’. They were meant to be used as workwear and with cotton woven by hand there was no chance, they could rip. Obviously today we don’t want jeans that are so uncomfortable, but we also don’t want to pay high price for something that won’t last us even a year. Not to mention that according to EasyEcoTips it takes around 1.500 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans, so they are not exactly a sustainable product to make. The textile industry is the second largest polluter of clean water globally. Another thing is that today most clothes are made out of polyester, which is made out of plastic fibres. When you wash your clothes in the washing machine this fibre will shed microfibres that will end up in the ocean.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a pair of jeans from this brand or feel shame for buying that leather jacket. This means that you can find perfect ones that are Vintage and deserve a second life and they will last a lot longer than the new ones from the store.
Don’t forget that we are surrounded by so many garments that we can use to dress so many future generations.
Let us know what is so far your experience with Vintage clothing and do you find that it lasts longer?
Blog written by Anja Markovic, follow her sustainable journey at @stainedcontent