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Donate less, dump dryers, and bye, Amazon: Fashionable things you can do for a more mindful you

Mindfulness can be a fashion statement.

Mindfulness can be a fashion statement. Axel Bueckert

It’s 2020. Wild, right? 

A new decade is upon us, and you may be considering a resolution or two. If you’re feeling concerned or conflicted about your closet, your style, or the way you flex your spending muscles, we’re here with a few fashion-related resolutions you could consider adopting this coming year.

Shop locally. Many of us have Amazon Prime accounts, and that convenience is really, really hard to let go of. However, just because you can get something delivered next-day for free doesn’t mean you should. A great rule of thumb: If you can get something locally, then do that. If it’s something you can’t find at any shops or stores nearby, order it online. 

Shopping locally helps support communities and neighborhoods, gives small business owners a chance to thrive, and supports our local economy. The Twin Cities is home to so many incredible small businesses, including clothing boutiques, home goods shops, bookstores, and toy stores. So when you need a new kitchen knife, a pair of jeans, or a winter novel, don’t open the Amazon app. Go out and buy it from a real person, right where you live.

Be kinder to your clothing. Vintage clothing can survive the years for a few reasons, including the fact that things were just constructed better before the dawn of fast fashion. However, back in the day, people also took care of their clothing instead of throwing it on the floor or blasting it with heat in the dryer. 

All clothing, including the stuff you buy at Forever 21 (please stop), will last longer if you care for it properly. Try to avoid the dryer if at all possible, and turn your bathroom into a clothesline instead. Regularly comb your sweaters to rid them of those pesky pills. Launder things properly, and hand wash delicate items in the bathtub. Store your best, most important garments in breathable garment bags, and spray sweaters with cedar spray to keep moths away, especially if you live in an older home and shop secondhand. If you take care of your clothes, they’ll take care of you.

Shop more mindfully. This is a tough one, but important. Did you know it takes over 650 gallons of water to create one cotton T-shirt? Wild, right? While it’s tempting to buy a new dress for every occasion, or treat yourself to something new just because you’re sad or bored, try to think about your purchase before you swipe your card or click on the “add to cart” button. Will you wear or use this item more than once? Is this something you can use or wear for a few years? Does it go with items you already own? 

If you’re buying just to buy, set the item down and wait a day or two. If you’re still thinking about it, go back and purchase.

Think twice before you donate. You might think that your local Goodwill or Savers is thrilled to get your castoff high school athletic tees or worn-out jeans. They aren’t. 

Thrift stores are undeniably important and great, and some, like Arc’s Value Village, help benefit adults and kids with developmental disabilities. However, only about one-third of items in the thrift store get purchased, meaning that the rest is either shipped overseas or taken to a landfill.

When you clean out your closet, consider what else you can do with all those castoffs. Can you turn worn-out tees and socks into dust rags and cleaning supplies? Can you take them to a textile recycling center? Could you donate old towels to an animal shelter? Instead of dumping everything you don’t want anymore at the thrift store, host a clothing swap with your friends, or try your luck selling items at shops like Buffalo Exchange or B. Resale or online on Poshmark or Depop.