I keep talking about shopping. Well, because most of the fast fashion issues are so closely interconnected with shopping. That’s just the God’s honest truth. It’s a consumer society we live in, and the fashion industry is based on fashion – trends that come in and out in order to encourage more purchases – not style – a consistent aesthetic and way of dressing that is wholly personal.

So to me, sustainability in fashion is closely related to shopping habits. Not minimalism per se – I’m definitely not a minimalist, but your shopping habits. I’ll also talk more about what to do with purchases, but that’s later.

And your environment has a big affect on you. Here’s a few examples, and hopefully that helps.

You have so many clothes that you never know what you have or where anything is, and so getting dressed becomes such a stressful activity that you release by buying something new that you think will make you feel better and make getting dressed easier. In truth, of course, is that it only adds to the pile of clothes, and therefore your stress, and the cycle continues.

The end of the day. You’ve dealt with the family responsibilities, the work responsibilities. You’ve spent the day hustling, and getting errands done. Making sure you’ve eaten healthy, and worked out, and managed all the things life has to manage. You’re so mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted and you just want to relax and not work so hard. A notification pops up of the newest arrivals, or ‘take 25% off your entire purchase’ and you add to cart and check out before you’ve even noticed. It makes you feel better, like you’ve treated yourself. Until tomorrow, when you do it again, and then the credit bill comes.

The morning. You’re tired, barely awake. You look at your coffee and your to-do list and check instagram. You see that newest and coolest dress on that travel blogger on a turquoise beach and hit add to cart and checkout because you have such a tough day ahead.

You go out with your girlfriend and all the best rom coms play through your head of the women trying on clothes, and walking out with bags, and their whole lives changing, of it all getting easier. So you do the same. You feel great walking out with your new pretty things for a few hours. Then realize that you’re still you, and not Reese Witherspoon.

These are exaggerations, but they all carry truths. These are all opportunities to ask, “What’s really driving you?” But they’re also examples of how your environment is enabling or hindering goals.

If your closet is overwhelming. Purge. Perhaps take some of the steps I take with my Mom’s purges? Unsubscribe from newsletters, as I’ve said. Make a rule that you can’t go on instagram until after a coffee and a meditation. Sometimes it’s not the activity, but the delay. Just that time of having coffee and a ten minute meditation might be enough for your impluses to quiet and for your purposeful mind to take control. Or that you aren’t allowed on the computer after 6 when your resolve is down. Make sure you never go shopping with that one girlfriend, or that time of the month – whatever – that triggers you. Whatever your vital weak spot, change the environment. Why make it harder on yourself? Why set yourself up to fail by surrounding yourself with temptation? Set up your circumstances for success.

Dress – thrifted from Common Sort
Boots – Call it Spring
Sock – Swedish Stockings
Necklace – Gypsy Love Store