Some days everything I have on was bought from a major retailer, is in synthetic fibers (in intense colors that probably required several washes to dye) and was possibly even purchased off the sale rack!
Yes, I am here everyday posting about all of the beautiful things I’ve found for you to buy that were safely made and relieve poverty and empower women and help, sometimes even relieve stress and harm on the environment. AND I want all of that to be true about EVERY piece in my wardrobe. But it’s only in the last year or two that I made that a commitment and I have a closet full of things that were purchased before that. So what do I do with them?
Mostly, I keep them. I try and restyle them in ways that are fresh and repair them or spot clean them when needed. I do my best (I have young messy children) to wash them as infrequently as possible so that they last (and to conserve water in general).
But mostly, I have GRACE for myself and I walk tall, knowing that I’m trying and sometimes being good to others and the environment means keeping what I have, even if it’s story is not exciting and I really just ordered it from Zara (my skirt in the picture).
I’m also really excited for our upcoming clothing swap in October! Follow the link here for more INFO. Several of the pieces in my closet that fit the description above will be out that day. I’m hoping I can switch for something new without completely getting rid of what I have.
So where ever your journey to a conscious closet is at…it is ALL GOOD. Keep trying, being creative, rewearing, hunting, thrifting and know that you are not alone in it.
“She was dressing herself before she could walk,” has been my parents’ favorite way to describe my stubbornness and love of style for as long I can remember. From the beginning, the battle my mama bear would never win was attempting to get me to change my mind about what I was going to wear. Until recently this has rang all too true. I love clothes and I love style but I had no idea where my clothes came from, who made them, or how much the textile worker was paid.
I didn’t know the route.
Hi! I’m Jasmin, a lover of style, interested in all things sustainable, and striving every day to leave the world better than when I found it. Through a most serendipitous introduction I became connected to Route and the lovely Christina. I knew I had to be involved from the moment I learned about Route.
Luckily for me Christina was willing to take a chance—on a friend of a friend—and allow me the privilege of guest blogging for Route! I’ll be here weekly to share my ideas, research, and opinions regarding my continued journey toward ethical and sustainable fashion. I’ll also highlight the incredible steps Route is taking to bring this important movement mainstream and ways for you, our lovely supporters, to join the movement!
A year ago I started my clothing education journey, completely unaware of the impact it would have on my life and the lives of my loved ones. (Thanks for allowing me to get on a soapbox regularly dear loved ones!)
So where did it all begin? Where else but the spot where countless hours, by countless women, have been spent standing in front of an overflowing closet wondering what to wear and yelling “I have nothing to wear!” I was frustrated, exhausted and downright over it when I began questioning why this happens. Why, on a weekly basis I was running late to work, or appointments, or to meet friends? Not getting up early enough? Probably. But also because of an irrational thought that I have ‘nothing to wear’ even in the midst of an overflowing closet of options. I pondered on this notion for days and finally landed on one overarching question I continue to come back to, which is more important: Style or Fashion?
Fashion has evolved from a predictable four season cycle to a revolving door of 52 yearly changes. Style on the other hand is specific to an individual, one who embraces the idea of pushing ever changing fashion trends behind and embarking on a journey that forces the question, “who am I, what makes ME feel good, and what face do I want to present to the world?” What we oftentimes forget is how impactful clothes are to our mood, first impressions and social success, not to even mention the environmental impact.
Style is an identity that does not change week to week but instead is yours and yours alone. This is not to say stylish people are not fashionable, quite the opposite actually, stylish people are the most fashionable, the only difference is, they do not follow trends because they are the trends, they invest in pieces that are flattering on their figures, in line with their personal design, and above all else make them happy!
This important realization gave life to my current clothing education journey.
Right as I found myself exhausted from trying to keep my closet filled with the most on trend looks, I was introduced toThe Sustainable Fashion Handbook by Sandy Black, which was conveniently on my family’s coffee table during a weekend visit. I would later learn that my sister had taken an interest in the book at the library and before I knew it I was devouring page after page. My desire to move away from rotating fashion trends, all for very selfish reasons; physical, mental and financial exhaustion, turned into a passion to create social awareness and change surrounding an issue that impacts each and every one of us. I realized my personal style is minimal chic and smothered in sustainability!
I began checking labels, I began asking…
What if we reevaluated our closets? What if we asked where things come from and who made them? What if we started investing in lasting items and did away with weekly shopping? What if we learned the Route?
To these what if’s I say: it’s a worthwhile challenge. But it is a challenge nonetheless. I have embarked on this journey to answer these questions, to change my relationship with clothes, and to share my newfound passion with others.
All the while let’s remember we are human and we will falter in our efforts to eliminate cheap fashion. We will be tempted by low prices and new fashion trends and occasionally we will cave to a deal too good to pass up.
What is important is when we care about where our products are made and of what quality and what textile, we are making a difference. We are supporting living wages, safe working conditions, and a respect for our environment. If, as often as we can, we know the Route our products have taken to our closets we are already making a difference. We are creating the change we want to see in the world.
I do not consider myself a creative person, and certainly not artistic in anyway. I DESPERATELY need the help of photographers, writers and designers to help create our brand. Each individual person has their own personal creative process. Some sit in a quiet room, some play loud music, others prefer to be outside. It’s usually a space, sometimes a time of day and may or may not include caffeine or certain foods. The creative process seems to require this lovely combination of physical, mental and emotional details to really flow.
Until recently I’ve learned about this only second hand. We started doing model photo shoots a few years ago, it is so much fun to find beautiful places in our city and reveal an entire clothing line to the photographer and models in beautiful spaces. Model shoots are the first time I have experienced diving into the creative process. What I love most about our shoots, is that it’s the creative process happening in community. A communal creativity. When it works, it is easily the most inspiring and energizing experience I have ever had.
We spent the morning laughing, exploring, talking, creating and making beautiful photography. Through the process we felt connected, uplifted and in general walked away saying over and over again “that was so much fun”.
How do you create? When and where and with whom?
Route is about not just purchasing consciously, but living consciously. Being aware and watching for those precious moments of connection with other humans, enjoying and valuing and sharing life with them. I LOVE that the route of connection today for us was a communal creativity. SO FUN.