How to learn from your clients

Black jacket and grey top.

My new capsule wardrobe.

One of the great things about being freelance is working for a variety of clients, instead of just one employer. For every job, there are new things to learn, which help you to grow your professional skills, business skills and interpersonal skills.

There are things you can learn from your client, too.

I’ve recently been providing digital support for WRAP, a charity that campaigns on waste reduction. Specifically, I’ve been working on Love Your Clothes, a consumer campaign aimed at helping people think more about how they buy, use and dispose of clothes.

I thought I was quite good about these things already – I was brought up in a thrifty household, and that has translated into thinking about sustainability – but I’ve learnt a lot. I’ve become familiar with the concepts of the “circular economy” and “slow fashion” (think “slow food” or “slow travel”). And I’ve picked up a lot of lifestyle tips, too.

I find the idea of a “capsule wardrobe” appealing. Done right, it promises to deal with the “I haven’t got anything to wear” problem. It’s going to take a bit of discipline and planning but it’s something I really want to do.

I’m envious of people who know their way round a sewing machine, because I’ve seen some of the results (there are a lot of sewing blogs out there). I’d love to be able to make that perfect item that I can’t find in the shops, or alter things I already have.

So will I be doing things differently? These are my plans:

  • Look after my clothes better – out go the old wire hangers, in come good quality wooden ones.
  • Find the time to do a proper wardrobe clear-out and make more of the clothes that I actually want to wear.
  • Spend the same amount on clothes but buy fewer, and better quality, items.
  • Find someone who can help to take the fear out of using a sewing machine.

But just to prove we’re a household that already loves our clothes:

Vintage red lace dress.

I’ve had this dress for years – it was donated by a friend and is genuine vintage. I know it’s going to keep coming back into fashion periodically. And even when it’s not, I’ll still wear it.

I’ve started putting together my new capsule wardrobe (and the jacket came from a charity shop).

I showed my husband our blog post about the “30 year sweatshirt”. His response: “I’ve already got a 30 year sweatshirt.” He never throws anything away.

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