Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful
To get me started I watched The Minimalists documentary on Netflix.
Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus, were climbing the corporate ladder when a series of life-changing events led them to de-cluttering their materialistic lives and make room for more meaning.
I genuinely feel like I’ve had a similar series of lightbulb moments myself. A switch has well and truly flipped. Something inside me feels different and I feel more aligned to my core self than I have for a long time.
I’ve sold all of my furniture, and I’ve actually made a profit from up-cycling. So what’s left?
Turns out my treasure chest of worldly possessions contains nothing but hundreds of books, thousands of clothes, a Paddington station clock and a cute little egg hutch. That’s about it.
Every Day’s a Fancy Dress Day
My wardrobes are colour-coordinated and bursting at the seams…I’m a total hoarder. There’s stuff in there older than I am. It’s an eclectic mix. Crazy to conventional, mental to majestic and a few too many sequins. But actually the vast majority of pieces are really sentimental to me.
I’ve kept the dress I wore when I met my first boyfriend. I was fifteen years old when I wore that dress and when I look at it, I can still feel the butterflies of a teenage Love swarm around my stomach…
Then there’s a floral, peasant dress I bought from a magasin de charité when I lived in Aix-en-Provence and was going through some sort of boho phase…
A cream woollen crotchet jumper from my time scouring die Flohmärkte (flea markets) of Cologne which serves as a comfort blanket on the days I need a fabric hug.
It’s a long time since clothes have served a purely utilitarian purpose to anybody. I adore them. They’re art. They an external representation of what’s inside. They can transform you into another version of you, another facet. They’re memories. They’re a time machine. They’re fun.
Today’s Fast Fashion mania really scares me. I’m neck deep in the industry, it’s what pays my bills, so I’m coming at this with a little bit more insight than most and I’m fully aware that I’m hitting Hypocrite Level 10.
Fast is becoming ultra-fast.
It’s draining resources more than ever and squeezing every last penny out of the back end of the supply chain. It’s one of the biggest polluters on the planet. The quality of clothes is diminishing – things are made to fall apart after a few washes so you come back for more. Catwalks seasons have turned into weekly churn-outs.
It’s making us want more, spend more and waste more. Clothes are depreciating assets that are loveless one wear. Zara addictions are a thing and the struggle is real.
I’ve got to reign in the Squanderlust. I cannot possibly need any more. I have so many Things I’m clinging on to that I’ve never worn and never will, Things that still have the tags on, Things that look good on the hanger but less so on me, Things I say I’ll fit into one day but just about go around my right thigh. It’s time to say arrivederci.
Parting is all we know of heaven,
And all we need of hell
These beauty-full words from Emily Dickinson are intended to convey the tragedy we feel when a life ends but actually they’re just as pertinent to me saying goodbye to my beloved Frocks.
I decided I couldn’t just let anybody inherit them and I didn’t want to pimp them out to the highest bidder. No, the precious contents of my closet were going to find loving new homes..
I threw a clothes party. Like real life ebay but with friends; bulk discounts and mates rates apply.
It was the perfect excuse to have the girls round, talk about fast fashion and the idea of recycling loved garments. This is my way of spreading the word for positive change. I dished up a few vegetarian delights and we washed them down with prosecco.
The evening was a total success. I felt genuinely happy, and maybe even borderline emotional, that I was passing on the things I Love to the people I Love. And if I do say so myself, they got themselves some serious bargains.
They added to their wardrobes for less than the cost of a cocktail and I de-cluttered my life whilst topping up my piggy bank.
Everyone’s a winner.