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Five tips to create a minimal wardrobe

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Five tips to create a minimal wardrobe

Alyssa Mariano, co-founder and CEO of Bazaara, the UAE’s largest peer-to-peer community marketplace app for buying and selling pre-loved fashion and accessories, explains how to keep your wardrobe stress-free

Start with the basics: When building a minimalist wardrobe, start with the essentials. Think classic, timeless pieces, like a white t-shirt, a pair of dark wash jeans, a black blazer and a versatile dress that can be dressed up or down. Select pieces that can be mixed and matched with ease and choose high-quality materials that will stand the test of time. When buying pre-loved, look for pieces that are close to being brand new and without damage. If you’re opting to buying new, look for companies which offer long – even lifetime guarantees, such as the ‘Buy Me Once’ website, or companies that sell high-quality, durable garments.

Choose a neutral color palette: One of the easiest ways to create a cohesive wardrobe is to stick to a neutral color palette. Shades of black, white, grey, beige and navy are timeless and versatile, and can be mixed and matched with ease. This approach will also make it easier to build a capsule wardrobe, where you have a limited number of pieces that can be worn interchangeably.

Invest in quality over quantity: Invest in pieces that are well-made and designed to last, rather than buying cheaply made fast-fashion items that will fall apart after a few wears. Not only will this approach save you money in the long run, but it’s also better for the environment. And despite publicity, there are still many manufacturing facilities across Asia that operate under poor employment practices. As mentioned on the Cruelty Free Super web site: “80% of the 75 million people that make today’s clothing are women aged 18-24 years old. These women work long days and yet it takes [them] 18 months to earn what a fashion brand CEO makes on their lunch break.” Another great way is to only buy pre-loved. This will help you greatly reduce your contribution to the fashion industry’s impact on the environment.

Choose versatile pieces: Look for pieces that can be dressed up or down, and that can be worn in a variety of settings. For example, a simple shift dress can be dressed up with heels and statement jewellery for a night out or dressed down with sneakers and a denim jacket for a more casual look. The key is to choose pieces that can be styled in multiple ways, so you get most use out of them.

Embrace minimalism as a lifestyle: Building a minimalist wardrobe is just one aspect of a minimalist lifestyle. If you’re committed to simplifying your life, you need to approach all aspects of your life with the same mindset. This might mean decluttering your home, cutting back on social media, and focusing on experiences over material possessions. The key is to prioritise the things that truly matter to you and let go of the rest.

Fast Fashion facts

  • The textile industry accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than all international flights and maritime shipping combined – a staggering 1.2 billion tonnes annually.
  • What’s worse is that by some estimates, (according to the UN) sector emissions are expected to rise by more than 60 percent by 2030.
  • The Ellen MacArthur Foundation reports that an estimated US$500 billion value is lost every year due to clothing that is “barely worn and rarely recycled,” – which could lead to the industry accounting for a quarter of the world’s carbon budget by 2050.
  • The Foundation also reports that globally, every single second, an entire truckload of clothing is landfilled or burned.
  • The textiles industry relies mostly on non-renewable resources – 98 million tonnes in total per year – including oil to produce synthetic fibres, fertilisers to grow cotton and chemicals to produce, dye, and finish fibres and textiles.
  • But there’s hope: Buying and wearing second hand clothing instead of new reduces carbon emissions by 25% on average. And in 2022, 1 in 3 apparel items bought was second hand, according to the latest Thred Up resale report.

Alyssa Mariano

Alyssa Mariano is the co-founder and CEO of Bazaara, the UAE’s largest peer-to-peer community marketplace app for buying and selling resale fashion and accessories. Launching in early 2021, Bazaara debuted in the UAE with long-term expansion plans across the Middle East.

After graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from West Virginia University, Alyssa went on to pursue a career in fashion and technology.

Working with various companies in New York City for five years, Alyssa started a new chapter by relocating to Dubai in 2017. Prior to Bazaara, Alyssa founded Marketelier, a boutique marketing and creative communications agency. In her free time, Alyssa mentors high-school students and volunteers regularly with stray animal organisations.

Passionate about sustainable living and fashion, she launched Bazaara with a vision to foster a community to safely and seamlessly sell preloved and vintage clothes in the UAE. She also hopes to do her part in reducing the impact fashion has on the environment by shifting consumer focus from new to preloved.

Notably, Bazaara was part of Flat6Labs cohort 4 in 2023, Ma’an Social Accelerator, and a finalist in the StartAD Youth Tech pitch competition.

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