On Building A Kinder Closet

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Over the past year or two, as I’ve continued to do reading and learning about living more mindfully, simply and sustainably, one of the topics I came across was the important and ongoing conversation around fast fashion and the out-of-control mass consumerism that is closely associated with the fashion industry. It left me feeling helpless, confused, and guilty amongst other things. With a bout of extreme guilt about what I was wearing and buying,  it felt like a problem that was too big and out of my hands.

However, after doing more research, I slowly developed small actions I can take to eventually achieve my goal of only buying clothes from ethical sources (and preferably, local ones too). I’ve been slowly implementing them as I add new things to my wardrobe. Its a slow journey, and you need to practice a little patience. Do the research, save some money, purge your closet and you’ll be on the right track.

Some things to think about…

  • Your money is your vote. By choosing to buy ethical, sustainable clothing (or anything) you are supporting the ethical product scene.
  • Knowledge is power. The more research you do, the more strongly you will feel about the cause, and the more informed your decisions will be.

Here are the small steps I’ve been taking…

Be aware. Knowing that there’s an issue is a good place to start. It’ll make the process worthwhile and important to you.

Start small. Its unrealistic for many of us to switch to an all-ethical, all-local wardrobe in the space of a season. In reality, many top fast fashion brands don’t have  ethical business practices. However, there are some that just top it all when it comes to unethical business practice. After doing some reading and watching the news, I made a list of repeat-offenders that I no longer shop at. Baby steps.

Buy less. Choose well. These words by Vivienne Westwood are my motto when it comes to curating a wardrobe. The best thing you can do is choose quality over quantity. Choose the pieces that have been made to last.

I’ve started seeing that fast fashion chains and ethical brands’ pricing can be pretty on par nowadays. If you can get it locally and ethically for roughly the same price, then do it.

Have a list. Going into a sale where everything is 70% off, it can be pretty easy to walk out with bags full of clothing that’ll ultimately end up shoved in the back of your closet. I do an audit of my wardrobe every season and make a concise list of what I need. I have also started using Pinterest and making reference boards of items I need in styles I love. That way, when you go into the sale, you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Don’t just toss it. Getting into a mindset of valuing our clothes and looking after them so that they last is key. Just because you wore it in all your Instagrams last season doesn’t mean it needs to get the boot.

Another tip I’d give is to stick to natural fibres as much as possible. They’re better for the environment, they wash well and your skin will thank you. I generally find that my clothing pieces made from natural fibres last longer too.

Here are some of my favourite South African clothing and accessory labels that produce quality, locally made pieces.

Selfi

Jane Sews

Famke

Bamboo Revolution

Like I said before, knowledge is power. Some of my favourite places to learn more about ethical fashion:

Fashion Revolution

Tolly Dolly Posh

Nabeela x

 

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5 Ways to Live a Little Lighter This Year

I’m not one who believes that new habits can only be formed in the new year. I’m actually the kind of person who will start big new things in September. Nonetheless, I still feel that the new year can be a good time to make intentional changes in our lives because we feel a little more rested and at peace after the December break.

As you may know, over this past year or so, I have really delved deep into minimalism as a lifestyle, and I can feel how much lighter I am without the weight of my material possessions. Here are a few tried and tested methods that may just help lighten the mental and physical clutter for you too.

 

  1. / Toss it

Stop holding onto things just in case. Sort through your things with intention and get rid of everything you don’t use. You don’t have to throw it away. Donate it instead. Let someone else benefit from it.

 

  1. / Unsubscribe and unfollow

I unsubscribed from so many mailers over the past year. Unnecessary emails just clog our inboxes and distract us from the important ones that do require our attention. I also felt that my Instagram feed was clogged and too full. I unfollowed so many different accounts that I just didn’t find any value in or that didn’t inspire me in any way. I even unfollowed some brands I genuinely like as I wasn’t finding any extra value in their account. Be selective about who you follow and change it up regularly in order to stay inspired.

 

  1. / Don’t impulse buy

Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it. I’ve decided that I will only buy what’s on my wish list. I get a monthly allowance, and with that I either buy what I truly need (I keep a list) or else save it for my big saving-up list. By using this method, you’ll only bring things into your life that’ll truly add value, and you’ll hardly feel as if you’re wasting money.

 

  1. / Shake it off

Don’t let negative relationships weigh you down. If you have a problem, talk it out as soon as you can, so that it doesn’t linger at the back of your mind. If the other person isn’t willing, rethink whether or not they are worth your time and energy.

 

  1. / Take care of yourself

If you take good care of yourself and you’ll feel happier, lighter, more positive and more productive. Give yourself grace, sleep well, exercise, eat well and pamper yourself when it’s needed.

 

Lets make 2017 our most meaningful and intentional year yet.

 

“The happiest people don’t have everything they want, but instead want everything they have.” – Anonymous

Nabeela x

Slow: What’s The Rush? 

In today’s busy, crazy, chaotic life, it can be difficult to remember to breathe, reflect and take some time to slow down.
When delving into minimalism, I came across its close cousin: slow living.

What is it? Well, in my understanding, it’s about taking more time to do the things you really love and do less time doing the things you don’t. Simple, right? Easier said than done though.

It’s about more intentional living. Curating your time. Doing things more intentionally and being more mindful.
You’ll notice that once you slow down a bit, you’ll see the beauty in the ordinary. Indeed, this beauty is everywhere and in everything. We just rush past it and don’t take it in enough.

 
Try and be more intentional, more mindful, more peaceful. Maybe, try listening and observing more than speaking.

 
Taste the flavours in the food you eat.
Feel the air that blows through your hair and on your skin.

Hear the birds waking you up in the morning.

See. See the world through a new, more mindful and intentional set of eyes.

We’ve become so set on looking for the imperfections, the wrongs, the pain. We try to fix that. And that’s alright. But why not embrace the beauty too?

 
This Spring, and next year, which will be my sixteenth one, I want to wake up again, see the world through new eyes and be more mindful.

 
In the words of Carl Honore, it’s time to embrace your inner tortoise.

 

‘Nature does not hurry and yet everything is accomplished…’ – Lao Tsu
I think nature is trying to tell us something.

Nabeela

 
(Considering this piece of writing is about slowness, I wrote it really fast. The words were just flowing!)

 
TEDtalk recommendation:

In praise of slowness – Carl Honore