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Waste Minimalism: The Insights of How I Manage My Wardrobe

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FIU chapter.

At 16 years old I learned how the fashion industry has a great impact on today’s society. Having multiple items of something was deemed normal in my household, and would be considered valuable.

Eventually those ‘valuable items’ were thrown in boxes to never be seen anything. The year 2019, was an insightful year of learning in all aspects. I started off with the idea of learning financial literacy, but I did not know that having the determination to set financial goals would have a key role in changing my perspective on my wardrobe.

The word ‘minimalism’ was a keyword that measured freedom to me. It slowly started to play a role in my life by emphasizing the substructures of financial freedom to the reduction of fast fashion. I began watching documentaries on how influential fast fashion has been in the United States but how harmful it has been in underdeveloped countries. Environmental injustice has continued to occur in marginalized communities around the world due to the pollution of fashion waste being dumped on land, beaches, and waterways.

This motivated me to take a turn on how I view the pieces I purchased and began looking at the creation of those items beyond the textile. After learning and connecting with others’ stories I asked myself, ” How can I start transitioning my life?”

I grew into the concept of “quality over quantity,” and began shopping less. While starting to alter my decisions, I encountered two options that worked best for me. The first option was to purchase quality items that are long-lasting, versatile, and sustainable. My second option was to start participating in second-hand fashion. I became a part of a business that supports second-hand fashion by allowing owners to purchase and sell gently-used items. Through this company, I opened up my small business and began selling items that no longer held value to me. I appreciated this experience because I enjoyed giving away items that no longer held value to me, but can hold value for someone else. This gave me insight into learning the different options of second-hand fashion are multifaceted.

Over the past four years, I adjusted my mindset to learn how to shop less and more efficiently. My wardrobe has consisted more of second-hand items, as well, as, quality items that are sustainable, and versatile. I have attended clothing swap events both on-campus and off-campus which gives me the opportunity to donate items to others while having the chance to pick up gently used items. I love the idea of swapping because this option has helped me become more creative with my fashion pieces. I turn those items into projects to help reconstruct my idea of it. Whether it is a bag, patched denim, or a new design on a dress, I love the idea that something old can be constructed into something new.

As I continue to bring awareness to the problem I am continuously learning the different alternatives that demonstrate ways to reduce fashion waste and discovering techniques in upcycling.

Diana Dupelord is a Senior Editor at Florida International University Her Campus Chapter. She oversees a group of writers that exemplify different genres of writing. She is responsible for ensuring article credibility, while managing and editing writers' content before publication. Diana continues to expand her editorial experience by becoming a Student Editor for FIU's Undergraduate Research Journal for the 2024 Cohort. She dedicates her time to working with Student Writers during the drafting and publication process to ensure efficient published academic research. Additionally, she has served as an intern for Her Campus Media X Ulta Beauty by creating written content on natural hair for the empowerment of Black Beauty. The art of writing has allowed Diana to optimize her passion for it. She is dedicated to sharing her life experiences through her love for writing. Her transparency has allowed her to influence and inspire people by portraying the empowerment of her written pieces. She emphasizes her reasonings to teach the world as "Breaking Barriers is My Purpose."