In an age of fast fashion, where trends come and go as if through a revolving door, there’s a refreshing movement that’s taking over the industry: minimalist style.
While the term may conjure up images of muted colors and simple shapes, minimalism doesn’t just apply to an aesthetic. Minimalist fashion is a movement that forgoes trends and fast fashion for timeless pieces that are both socially and environmentally conscious.
Why Forgo Fast Fashion?
The amount of clothing consumed by today’s style mavens has skyrocketed in recent decades; in fact, consumers are buying 400% more clothing than they did a mere 20 years ago.
Sadly, that clothing isn’t being put to good use. Today, the average consumer will find 120 pieces of clothing in their closet—but typically wear only about 20% of it. In addition, the average woman wears a garment only 7 times before getting rid of it.
The United States sends textiles to the landfill at a rate of 21 billion pounds per year, and much of those textiles can take upwards of 200 years to decompose, causing our environmental impact to grow larger and larger with each passing year.
What is Minimalist Style?
Minimalism is a sustainable fashion movement that combines style with social and environmental justice issues. The principles are simple: by curating an ethically produced wardrobe with high quality construction and timeless style, you can break free from the cycle of fast fashion and reduce your impact on the environment.
Minimalist fashion style brands are forward-looking. They are designed to minimize waste, and focused on reducing future impact on the environment. They produce with quality and longevity in mind, so that consumers can carry their favorite styles through the seasons.
At Rothy’s, we don’t stop there. We combine this forward-looking goal with a mission that looks backwards too. Did you know that one million water bottles are sold internationally each minute? A mere 9% of those bottles are recycled, leaving the remaining 91% in landfills and polluting our oceans.
Rothy’s was born out of desire to reduce the rate at which we’re producing waste and to minimize the waste we’ve already made by turning it into timeless, high quality footwear that will last.
Our shoes are constructed with knit uppers made from 100% post-consumer plastic water bottles, recycled foam, and carbon-free rubber soles. Through our innovative production process, we aim to help the environment with every pair.
Building Your Minimalist Wardrobe
Many people equate minimalism with basic, simple, and even boring fashion—but that’s not the case. Minimalism starts with your approach to fashion. The goal is not to have the simplest, most basic, or most boring wardrobe, but the most functional wardrobe possible.
Ultimately, you want to have a wardrobe full of items that you love to wear, and that you’ll be able to keep by your side for years to come. That means forgoing a polyester tee for a quality shirt made of ethically-sourced materials in a style that you’ll always love.
Building a minimalist clothing style doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a gradual progression that happens over time. The real beauty of a minimalist wardrobe is that it will last. You won’t be stuck in the same cycle of buying, cleaning out, and constantly rebuilding your closet. You’ll have a wardrobe full of well-loved and long-worn pieces that are always in fashion.
Step One: Take Stock
The first step in building your minimalist wardrobe: assess what’s already in your closet. Chances are it’s full of items you simply don’t wear.
Whether it’s the dress you bought for your best friend’s summer wedding, or a pair of pleather shoes that leave your feet sticky, those closet space hogs have got to go. Donate the clothing to your local charity store or sell them online.
Step Two: Make a Plan
Next, it’s time to consider what your wardrobe needs. The key to a minimalist wardrobe is building with intention. Which staples are missing from your wardrobe? Do you have the variety that you need to last you the year?
While wardrobe necessities will vary according to lifestyle, a minimalist wardrobe is comprised of a standard list of staples.
Step Three: Shopping!
Once you have a good hold on which minimalist style items your wardrobe needs, the fun begins! Again, this process will be gradual, but as you shop, remember that your money is going towards ethical production, sustainable materials, and quality design.
When shopping for a minimalist wardrobe, ask yourself the following questions:
- Was this clothing ethically and sustainably manufactured? Most brands with ethical and sustainable production aren’t afraid to say so. If they don’t let you know outright, ask! An ethical clothing manufacturer has nothing to hide.
- Is this clothing high-quality and built to last? A well-made garment feels different in your hand. It feels sturdy and soft, without the itchiness of low-quality materials. Practice makes perfect, and soon enough you’ll be identifying garment quality with ease.
- Will I love this next week, next month, and next year? If the answer is no, put it down! A good practice is to wait a week after seeing a new item to decide whether or not to go through with the purchase. If you’re still thinking about it next week, it may be true love and not just a crush.
Minimalist style is a movement that you can feel good about embracing. With better clothing and a positive impact on our world, you simply can’t go wrong when going minimal.