Why sometimes less is more

Following my decision to go towards what I’ve called “my conscious wardrobe” that resulted in a drastic downsizing and limiting of the numbers of items in my closet, I was asked the following question which came with a “side dish” comment: “Mili, what is this thing that you plan to use only a few items for your wardrobe? This is so stupid.”

So, why would anyone want to reduce their wardrobe or simply stop shopping for a while? Especially someone like me who’s really into fashion and design. And how come I think it’s all but stupid?

As I’ve mentioned before in my introductory post on this topic, I’ve parted from the capsule wardrobe concept. I started with 20-something items, not including accessories which was cheating on the capsule wardrobe concept from the start. However, the number itself didn’t really matter. What’s important was the intention: changing the whole approach I had had until then. My aim was to refine and maintain my unique and true style, and thus be more conscious about the choices I’m making. I believe that living in line with one’s personal values is the only way to lead a happy and meaningful life.

If I value people and the environment, it’s hard to ignore some of the reasons behind such a decision to change:

– The fashion industry as a whole creates a huge amount of pollution and waste as most of our clothes end up in landfills.

– Most of the items we buy are made by people who work in very poor or inhuman conditions.

– We spend our resources on items we never wear or only wear a few times. Quite often, a lot of time is gone on deciding what to wear and then we end up with “the usual” or something that just makes us feel uncomfortable. Ask yourself how many things you hardly ever wear, or how many times you’ve put something on only to find yourself thinking that you should have picked your favorite pair of jeans instead.

– Most intelligent individuals don’t consider that having a lot of clothes brings any value to their lives. In fact, too many items can create both physical and mental clutter. Having a lot to choose from overwhelms us as it depletes the willpower and mental energy we could better use in other, more meaningful aspects of our lives. No wonder many successful people either wear the same items or have someone choose for them.

Finally, working with less sets you out on a challenge. Empower yourself to choose an individual style and present yourself in the best way: the one that reflects you, with your personality and your values. Dare to be more creative in your looks and see how you can do more with what you already have by finding unique and innovative ways. ”Be the change you want to see”



If you’re curious and would like to learn more interesting facts or figures about the current state of the fashion industry and it’s overall environmental impact, check out the links I’ve added in the SOURCES section below. .

Photo by Carlos Kesgo

  • click here for Lucy Siegle‘s TEDx event talk: “An expose on the fashion industry by the Observer’s ‘Ethical Living’ columnist, examining the inhumane and environmentally devastating story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear.”
  • click here for Christina Dean’s  TEDx event talk: “You are what you wear” 
  • click here for REDRESS web page – Redress is an environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry. On their portal you can find a lot of interesting information and resources including some practical tips for consumers.