Ever heard of the so-called Konmari method of Marie Kondo? Netflix hero Marie Kondo is so popular that it has already become a verb. I Marie Kondo, You Marie Kondo and we all Marie Kondo. Something like that… Marie Kondo is a cleanup guru in the USA. She will browse through your pile of clothes with complete ease, and you may retain an item anytime you sense a ‘spark of joy,’ however, everything else you must say ‘thank you’ and goodbye to. But there’s more! Learn how to make your wardrobe sustainable from our very own Dutch Marie Kondo, Chiara Spruit.
The consumer society in which we live in consists of a repeated principle of buying, storing and throwing away. It is also called take-make-waste. We secretly no longer know what we actually have and no longer cherish our things. Chiara wants to change this and does it in a very personal way.
I met her during a circular fashion show at CIRCL and asked her a few questions about her way of working. First of all, she told me where her name comes from. She calls herself Indian in your closet. Indian, because she was adopted from Colombia and in your closet because that is her favourite place.
What are your tips & tricks that make people happy about their wardrobe again?
The first step really starts with yourself, what kind of person are you and what suits you and what makes you happy? What are your strengths and lesser points? Then you may wonder if you are going to shop sustainably, vintage shopping, swapping, borrowing or all in a mix. In addition, I think it is important that people cherish what they have, but also realise that there is a story behind every item of clothing. A piece of clothing that you buy in the store usually has no story. I’m trying to explain to really look at a piece of clothing and find out what feeling you get from that piece; does it give you a ‘spark of joy’? Yes or no?
For example, think of that beautiful blouse with buttons from your grandma on it, you’ll never throw something like that away. I really look at a piece of clothing and ask myself ‘how you can I make this unique’. See, a basic is a basic. But a unique piece of clothing teaches you to look at the time spent on it. Five or ten years ago they were not really talking about sustainable fashion. I already did what I did. Learning to look at details and to cherish clothes had been introduced to me as a child”.
The basis for a sustainable wardrobe is self-knowledge. Chiara barely hears this in the media (do you want to know more about this? Then read the article with Clare Press.
Together with Chiara you gradually get closer to yourself, she also calls it peeling the layers of the onion until you are really in the core. Who am I, what do I want, what do I feel comfortable with? Not your partner, your employer, your children or whatever: no, it’s about you.
What about business clothing?
If you work for a corporate company and you have a meeting, it is nice that you have a nice jacket and pants. But a jacket and pants are very different if you wear this with a leopard belt or banana socks. This is, of course, is just an example, but try to make things your own, and like this, you don’t have to buy a different (expensive) suit every time.
Always strive to make a small alteration so that it feels like it’s brand new. If you can create a wardrobe for yourself that has clothes that truly fits you, clothing that you actually wear, that you have an overview of, and that you enjoy: that is truly sustainable.
How does a wardrobe session work?
There are various options. You can book a workshop with a group of girlfriends, but I can also visit you at home. During a wardrobe session, I work thoroughly. It’s all about you. During a wardrobe session, all layers of the onion are peeled off to get to the core. Who are you? I make many sincere compliments, identify qualities and inspire people. A wardrobe session involves taking steps. A wardrobe is an accumulation of years and expresses itself in a certain world of thought: how did you see yourself versus who you are now? Change is slow, but I do try to set change processes in motion. For information, the prices are between 79 (workshop with girlfriends) and 500 euros (private wardrobe session per day).
How do you see sustainability yourself?
I am a proponent of sustainability, but whether I am a world improver? I think so, but we have to do it together. I can really only improve the world if people actually pick up my story. We improve the world together. Somewhere there is a bit of a smudge on my profession. As a stylist, you are often busy disapproving. This is out of fashion, this is no longer possible, you are too old / too young / too fat / too thin, etc. This is of course not really a sustainable idea and that does not suit me.
Do you have an ultimate shop tip?
“Yes, of course! Book a session with me: Indian in your closet and turn your own closet into your favourite clothing store! I want to make sure that you will be happy again from your own store, just at home. You don’t have to search externally, everything starts with you!
Do you want to know more or do you have questions for Rachel? Or Chiara? Feel free to do that in the comments below. Did you like this? Perhaps you will like our previous article ‘Throw-away Fashion: The New Standard‘ Do you see mistakes? Let us know! Do you want to stay informed? Sign up for our Newsletter or social via Facebook andInstagram.