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3 (Ethical) Ways to Relieve Restless Wardobe Sydrome

Haley Martin

Most of us have been there. RWS: Restless Wardrobe Syndrome. Very medical, very legitimate and very deadly. 

Okay. Maybe not deadly, but sometimes it feels that way, right?

Whether deadly or not, the consequences are very serious. You feel like you either have to stay home, or go straight to the mall to buy new, cheap, clothes to treat your RWS. Frivolous shopping not only hurts your wallet and closet, but also hurts the garment workers producing the fast fashion merchandise.

Stop the cycle––the mall is not the only way to alleviate RWS and its symptoms.

Reinvent your current wardrobe

Swapping around your outfits can make a huge difference on your perception of your closet. Try on every single item in your closet, and take the time to pair each item with something that you never have before. Swap the jean shorts out for a pleated skirt, the blouse for a t-shirt. Before long, you will find new favorites, and easily eliminate the items that just wouldn’t work. (Bonus: donate unwanted clothes for an extra tax write off. Cha-chinga.)

Making alterations to your clothes is another way to upgrade your closet without even leaving the house.

Calm down: you don’t have to dust off the sewing machine. Some of the simplest changes can actually make a huge difference. Change out buttons, cut off hems, iron on patches...the possibilities are pretty much endless. Recently, I cut a dress I loved, but never wore, into a shirt. In less than five-minutes, I had a new beloved item. Being a clothing designer has never been so easy.

Shop Thrift and Consignment

If Macklemore can do it, so can we. If done right, you can come home from Goodwill with unique and timeless pieces, at impeccable quality and half the price of fast fashion.

RWS is partially brought on by the feeling that your entire wardrobe is just so basic.

Luckily, most of the garments at secondhand retailers will be vintage, meaning no one is capable of stealing your look anymore. Plus, because the clothes are vintage, you can be confident that they are in pretty good in terms of quality; if they made it this far honey, they aren’t going to break on you any time soon. (I’m looking at you fast fashion shorts whose button fell off the first time I wore you).

Best of all, resale is a super sustainable shopping option. You can shop completely guilt-free, knowing that whatever you buy is only supporting the thrift shops that you purchased from. Goodwill and Buffalo Exchange even make charitable donations to their communities.

Sustainable Retailers

Sometimes new stuff just feels so good. Go ahead––indulge.

At every price point, sustainable brands exist to help appease your fashion restlessness while supporting underprivileged garment workers and helping to effect real positive change across focus areas.

Some of our favorite retailers are those selling on Faire (of course), Ten Thousand Villages , and Mata Traders.

All in all, if symptoms of RWS still do not subside after following these steps, just stay home.


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