When was the final time that you simply actually regarded in your closet?  Did it take a pandemic so that you can undergo it and toss out or donate issues that you simply by no means wore or haven’t worn in, without end? Nicely, that’s a begin. However right here’s one thing extra to ponder.

Picture credit score: https://thecardswedrew.com/diy-closet-makeover/

In 2018, the Amsterdam Trend Institute (AMFI) and their pupil collective referred to as Soiled Laundry, developed the Closet Mass Index (CMI) (borrowing its title from Physique Mass Index – BMI) based mostly upon the United Nations’ Sustainable Improvement Targets (SDGs). Soiled Laundry’s mission is to alter the academic atmosphere and the style trade, by initiating a dialogue and collective motion centered round sustainability and the affect that our particular person purchases have on the atmosphere.

Picture credit score: From the Amsterdam Trend Institute (AMFI) Soiled Laundry information

Based on Soiled Laundry, “most garments are purchased within the spur of the second: you fall in love with an merchandise, maybe with out realizing that you have already got Three or four items alike. It turns into troublesome to make aware choices while you don’t know what actually is in your closet.”

Whether or not you’ve gotten a small closet or a walk-in, have your ever thought concerning the gadgets in your closet by way of classes? For instance:

  • What number of are new
  • What number of are unworn
  • What number of have been gifted (hand-me-downs, swapped gadgets)
  • What number of are secondhand
  • What number of have been mended
  • What number of have been made domestically
  • What number of have been made in your continent
  • What number of have been made abroad

That is the concept behind AMFI’s Closet Mass Index. Through the use of their worksheet to take inventory of what’s in your closet by class, the CMI supplies perception into the ‘well being’ of your closet. Based on Soiled Laundry, “It’s a device for measuring its quantity in a qualitative manner. The phrase qualitative is vital right here, because it’s not nearly figuring out the variety of gadgets, but additionally their origins, their journey into your closet and finally your personal shopping for conduct.”

Picture credit score: From Amsterdam Trend Institute (AMFI) Soiled Laundry Closet Mass Index Information

Soiled Laundry’s worksheet and the train of categorizing what’s at present in your closet is known as ‘7 Simple Steps’ (see listing beneath). After you have sorted your closet gadgets into classes and accomplished the rely, it is possible for you to to ‘replicate’ on the contents and ask your self a collection of questions that can allow you to discover: your preferences, any future purchases and offer you an accounting to be able to focus in your ethical duty to the planet.

Questions embody:

Which is the latest? Which is the oldest? When have been they purchased? That are the favorites?  What number of have been made: domestically? In your continent? Abroad?  What modifications do you wish to see in 2 years, 5 years, 10 years?

The place do you get most of your garments? Which supplies do you like?  Do you see a sample within the gadgets you don’t put on?  What’s your predominant set off for getting (worth, fashion….)?  What do you do with the clothes you don’t put on/need anymore?

Picture credit score: From Amsterdam Trend Institute (AMFI) Soiled Laundry Information-7 Simple Steps and Reflection questions

As you’ll be able to see, Soiled Laundry’s CMI worksheet refers to ‘jumpers’ (British English), which in American English are sweaters. So, I took the freedom of making my very own CMI that’s geared towards the American ladies’s wardrobe. On the worksheet beneath, I changed Jumpers with Sweaters/ Sweatshirts, I added ‘Bottoms’, which encompasses Denims, Pants, Shorts, Sweatpants and Leggings, and I added an extra class for Sports activities/Train clothes.

Picture credit score: UoF’s revision of Amsterdam Trend Institute (AMFI) Soiled Laundry Closet Mass Index Worksheet

My Personal Reflections: Past the Closet

After sorting, categorizing and counting the gadgets in my very own closet, the CMI train gave me a perspective as to my shopping for habits and the affect of possession of these things. Ultimately, my reflections tended to be extra philosophical.

Perhaps, as a result of COVID (it’s simply been that kind of yr), I discovered that I discovered a lot by wanting into my closet. I got here up with the next questions and realizations:

  • How had COVID modified my closet? For one, all of these work blouses must wait one other day.
  • I might rely on one hand what number of clothes have been made within the U.S. and those who have been, weren’t made not too long ago. I requested myself, what did that imply for U.S. garment staff?
  • How lots of the garments in my closet have been seasonal and what number of have been yr round? Ought to I recycle those who have been solely seasonal? Had been they even recyclable?
  • What number of days per yr might one thing be worn? Ought to this be an necessary consideration when shopping for a garment?
  • I discovered that my sports activities and train clothes contained a whole lot of Lycra, which make them more durable or probably unattainable to recycle based mostly on present strategies. The questions turned: what number of of my clothes are 100% of 1 materials and what number of have been blends?  It’s recognized that blends are more durable to recycle or upcycle. I requested myself, how do we enhance the recyclability of blended clothes? 
  • I did some analysis and discovered that the BBC had a great article on how laborious it’s to recycle clothes. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200710-why-clothes-are-so-hard-to-recycle. This jogged my memory that I undoubtedly wanted to alter my buying choices sooner or later.
  • I sadly found clothes that I had by no means even worn and but I stored them in my closet regardless.
  • I additionally discovered gadgets like my son’s vest from when he was a hoop bearer. He’s married now himself and it was clearly the sentimental aspect of a mother hanging on to one thing that another person might presumably use.
  • There have been different non-clothing gadgets in my closet, however might they be recycled? Objects like plastic hangers, suitcases, and bike helmets. Issues with a mix of supplies. What ought to I do with them?
  • I additionally contemplated the necessity for walk-in closets in any respect, and what the affect of getting one is to the structure of housing and due to this fact to the heating/cooling prices of buildings? What does possessing a walk-in closet imply for the anticipated fee of garment consumption?
  • I discovered that constructing operations account for 28 p.c of carbon dioxide emissions yearly, per the United Nations Atmosphere Program. What proportion of flooring house in housing are closets? How a lot power does it take to maintain our garments snug? I discovered these hyperlinks very useful https://structure2030.org/buildings_problem_why/


I used to be empowered to make modifications in my life on account of this train and due to this fact wish to encourage everybody to take the CMI problem. I can guarantee you…you’ll be very glad you probably did! Perhaps you’ll even wish to make it your New 12 months’s Decision?

Different Closet Options

For these of you who’re helpful with a stitching machine (which everybody who’s studying this UoF blogpost in all probability is), Soiled Laundry suggests that you simply take an accounting of what number of items in your closet that you may:

  • Upcycle
  • Mend
  • Makeover
  • Tailor
  • Swap

Picture credit score: From Amsterdam Trend Institute (AMFI) Soiled Laundry Information

Picture credit score: From Amsterdam Trend Institute (AMFI) Soiled Laundry Information

For extra on the way to upcycling and recycling, make sure to take a look at UoF’s new Sustainability Collection by Noor Bchara, founding father of Upcycle Design Faculty. Discover ways to grow to be a extra sustainably-minded international citizen.

Collectively we will scale back our carbon footprint and I feel that’s the most effective New 12 months’s Decision of ALL!

So, inform us…what does your closet should say about YOU?


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