Fashion and Sustainability are NOT Mutually Exclusive: an oath to a white t-shirt
Updated: Dec 19, 2020
Mutually Exclusive: impossible to coexist. One may not exist if the other is operating fully. Many times one pictures a "fashionista" as someone who has a shirt in every shape, shade, and texture to be able to perfect an outfit for any occasion that may be thrown their way. However, consumption of the same shirt in 8 shades does not scream sustainability. I am here to tell you, that it is possible to be the most fashionable person in the room, and also the most sustainable consumer.
Depending on your ability or desire to allocate resources to clothing, you could purchase the same shirt from a sustainable brand to make sure that you are always the most put together. However, my solution is to be smart. Smart in terms of money, storage, and aesthetic. I believe that the best way to become a sustainable fashionista is to create a timelessly chic wardrobe early on. Similar to saving for retirement, every purchase should be a thought out investment. Of course, we are human - indulge, make a few purchases that give you buyers remorse, but do NOT spend your life aimlessly purchasing articles of clothing which won't serve you on more than one occasion.
You may not be convinced at this point on the importance of investing young in a sustainable, long-lasting, chic wardrobe but let me give you an example.
The White Tee: deeper than you think
Imagine the white t-shirt of your dreams. A shirt that you can put on with any outfit and serves. Paired with jeans, paired with leggings, paired with leather pants, a skirt, shorts, under a blazer, on its own, or any other way imaginable - it just WORKS.
Now that you have this image in your head: think about how many white t-shirts you have bought in your life. As a 21 year old girl, I cannot even remember how many white t-shirts I have aimlessly purchased, worn, and folded away/donated. All of those t-shirts probably ranged from 10 dollars to 50 dollars at a maximum. When I turned 21, I made an oath to myself to invest. Invest in my style as I invest in my mental health, my retirement, my meaningful relationships. We have the ability to use our closet as a weapon, a super power if you will, to be an expressive human.
The white t-shirt can become your secret weapon. The white t-shirt can be reliable, can last forever, can grow with you, adapt to style changes, and timelessly serve you in all stages of your life. Once we stop growing after our teen years, this is our window to start our sustainable edited closet without the risk of having to resize, revamp, or redo on such an immense scale. I am here today to inspire you to make the most simple shift within your wardrobe. This month, I challenge you to invest in a timeless white t-shirt with the goal in mind to keep this in your armor for at least 5 to ten years. If you purchase a sustainably made t shirt for 100 dollars, and keep this for 5 years minimum. You are financing this shirt for a maximum of 20 dollars a year. In reality, you may have spent more than that throughout the years searching for the most "perfect" white tee that fast fashion cannot perfect. Find the tee that serves you, is made for your body type, and makes you feel like you can accomplish your most divine dreams whether you pair this with your comfy sweatpants or most exquisite pair of denim.
If you are inspired here are my favorite sustainable timeless white tees to shop: