Starting your ethical fashion journey can be daunting. Doing that first big audit and clear out, deciding what you truly need, can lead to an acute case of overwhelm. Thankfully Daria Andronescu is here to help. We speak to the YouTube star and capsule wardrobe queen about her mission to turn every closet into a Wonder Wardrobe.
I’m continuously inspired by designers that care about quality, materials, the people that make our clothes and how everything leaves a mark on our environment.
I’m continuously inspired by designers that care about quality, materials, the people that make our clothes and how everything leaves a mark on our environment.Daria Andronescu
For the last two years Daria Andronescu has been taking newbie ethical fashionistas by the digital hand and helping them on their way to sustainable style. Her Wonder Wardrobe YouTube channel boasts more than 40k subscribers, who are treated with regular tips, news and fashion finds. She describes herself as “not your usual vlogger”. “My channel’s aim is to educate my followers by sharing my personal shopper and stylist experience,” she says.
30yo Daria lives in Dusseldorf in Germany, but studied in Milan before embarking on a career as an international personal shopper. Her love of clothes is obvious from the cheerful enthusiasm of her videos, with the vlogger exposed to the fashion world from a young age. “I have early memories of finding out how clothes are made thanks to my mom who was a professional seamstress for the theatre,” she said. “Later on, my fashion teachers in Milan talked about ethical fashion.”
Wonder Wardrobe is more than just a website and a YouTube channel. It is Daria’s method of making it simple and easy to create a sustainable capsule wardrobe, that you’ll actually wear. There’s an online course you can take, designed to “teach you to better manage clothes you have and the clothes you want to buy, so that you can save money and the planet in the process.”
In the first lesson, Daria takes you through the big audit. And, yes it’s thorough. Daria suggests at least half a day should be set aside to go through each item and categorise it. The ultimate aim is to find a versatile collection of clothes that are appropriate to the season, and can be mixed and matched to create different goals. The key is doing more with less, and making the most of what you have.
“Once you learn skills like the colour harmony, finding your style, what materials flatter you and which don’t, how to create an image that helps you to better communicate your life goals, you will see that you don’t need much,” she says. “Quality over quantity actually saves you a lot of money and stress. Not to mention you’re helping the planet by creating less waste.”
On her YouTube channel, Daria presents ‘The Findings’ a regular round up of news from the world of ethical fashion and technology. She also has a blog with super-informative resources. For example her formal business capsule wardrobe vlog features 100 outfits, each one systematically pieced together from just a few interchangeable pieces.
At the heart of Wonder Wardrobe is the desire to help people be more sustainable with their clothing choices. Daria welcomes the increasing awareness about sustainability in fashion, but she remains skeptical about how committed big brands are. She believes the power lies in us to change the industry. “The mass-market fashion industry is still hoping that this is just a trend that will eventually go away, so they can keep polluting the planet as always,” she says. “Even though these unethical brands try to launch sustainable labels or lines, most of their manufacture involves polluting rivers and economically enslaving people. My hope is that we can all help fashion become fully ethical faster.”
Daria wants people starting their ethical fashion journey to feel empowered, not guilty. And she has one piece of advice – don’t be so hard on yourself. “Start by making the most of what you have and then slowly add ethical, sustainable pieces into the mix,” she says. “Feeling guilty about your past or current fashion choices won’t lead to behavior change. But if you do want to see change happen in your wardrobe and the environment, start by voting with your money. And vote wisely!”