Second-hand is trend and good for creativity and sustainability

Skirt (15 !!! years old): Steps, Top (3 years old): H&M, Necklace: a gift, Ankle Boots (new):Chigo

“We make the world we live in and shape our own environment.”

– Orison Swett Marden

Second-hand clothing is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to our full wardrobes and a growing awareness regarding sustainable consumption.

When you have followed my blog for a while, you will have noticed that most of my items aren’t new. I am not an overly big spender on clothes (please tell my husband this when you see him😉). That’s partly because I like what is in my wardrobe already, partly financially (I am a teacher remember) and partly for environmental reasons.

When you’re in for tips that boost both creativity and sustainability, please read on. I have found some simple steps to edit your (too) full wardrobe and have gathered some inspiring ideas to implement sustainable consumption in your life that is not about buying less clothes.

Tips for editing a full wardrobe

Like you can’t see the wood for the trees, you sometimes can’t see what to wear for all your clothes. A full wardrobe is something that sounds good, but does in fact have quite some disadvantages. How familiar do the following scenarios sound to you?

  • You have got so much in your wardrobe that the result is that you simply have to iron your squashed clothes before you can even wear them. (Is there a reader among you that loves ironing?)
  • Too many of your socks are single. (You might even consider a Tinder account for them😉)
  • You open your wardrobe and think: “I have nothing to wear.” This is what is called decision fatigue, caused by having too many choices. (I never happen to have decision fatigue when dealing with chocolate actually, but I do understand the principle)

If these scenarios ring some bells, you might want to edit your wardrobe. It’s good for your creativity and for sustainability and… there’s an easy and effective way to do so. Open your wardrobe, take everything out and then make 6 piles, according to the following criteria:

1 Items not worn for two years

2 Items that are too big, small, over-worn or damaged

3 Clothes that used to work but don’t fit your lifestyle any more

4 Special-occasion wear

5 Items for work

6 Items for daily life and weekends

This skirt is for weekends only. The cycling is simply too challenging…

Be strict, be consequent and ask for help if you feel you need it (that’s what friends are for). I am positive you will be more than happy to give away pile 1, 2 and 3. I would reserve a  small and special part of your wardrobe for pile 4 so you will have more than enough space for piles 5 and 6! Good for you (less choice, less ironing, socks in pairs), good for charities, good for the environment.

I have to confess that sometimes you have to break your own rules. This chocolate brown swirl skirt I hadn’t worn for years and I am ever so happy I did not put it on pile 1, but on my petite pile 7!

7 Clothes that should be given away, but are too nice to do so

Just make sure pile 7 stays small!

Tips for sustainable consumption

Like there is a large variety of shades of brown (chestnut, chocolate & cocoa brown, walnut & wood brown or taupe & tan), there is also a large variety of ways to implement sustainable consumption.

Hard to decide what shades of brown my skirt is. Taupe with walnut brown?

I have got a friend who travels a lot work-wise and has decided to buy an electric car to compensate for this. Another friend eats 100% vegan, not just for her health but also to spare the environment. A third friend is all for keeping her wardrobe to the minimum. She feels she saves both money and the planet. Another friend has chosen to read e-books only. It saves place in her small apartment and trees too. A fifth friend has invested in solar panels on her roof, saving money and the environment with the same investment. A very creative friend of mine buys the vast majority of her household items, including furniture, in second hand shops and creates the warmest, most stunning home with them. Her sustainability leads to creativity (or vice versa maybe).

What is so great about these women, is that they each implement sustainable consumption in a way that suits them and their lifestyles.

Remember my blogpost about goal setting? You will be most successful in reaching your goals when you make sure your goal is smart (specific, measurable, achievable, right for you and time-bound). My friends have all gone 100% for the R of smart. They have chosen a way to deal with sustainable consumption that is right for them.

You know what else I love about a large variety of options? They offer alternatives. Thanks to my vegan friend I have cut down my own meat consumption drastically. Because of discussions with my friends, I have become more aware of what my travelling does to the environment. That’s why I have combined trips to Holland to visit family and friends with exploring new sites (like Metz and Elzburg). I have also deliberately chosen some destinations that I can reach by train (like Milan for example). When I read a paper novel instead of an e-book, I always make sure to pass it on. And you may have noticed that I do more snow-shoe walking than skiing these days.

I can only encourage you to keep your ears and eyes open for possibilities to change something in your life for the better; be it for the environment, your health, your happiness or…all three. When I go snow-shoe walking I know it’s better for the environment than skiing, it’s good for my health and makes me very happy!

Just read about and listen to other women. We can learn so much from each other!

Thanks for reading and for listening. Get some inspiration from your friends and embrace  both creativity and sustainability. Go for it and above all: do it your way!





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  1. Fabulous skirt! That was before my time, I used to work there. I just bought a pre loved skirt of Steps that I had before! But totally worn it out! And now I have it again, fantastic right! We also are more thinking about the envirement. We eat almost vegetarian, don’t buy books anymore and try to use the waterpump wherever we can. All small bits help!

    1. Thanks for the compliment on the skirt Nancy. It is a great one, especially when swirling (which was not that easy on the stones as you can imagine). I am so glad I kept it. And I can imagine you are glad to have found a skirt you had before.

      I think many of us become more and more aware of the environment and that there is a lot we can do. You are right about every small step being one in the right direction! Love, Lieske

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