Since I’ve cleaned my closet recently, I realized that it has been a while since I’ve shared any style inspiration or posts about what I’ve been wearing or enjoying. I also realized that I haven’t made any big purchases this past year. My last purchase involving clothes was over a month ago and it was me thrifting (sustainable fashion for the win, right?). Read to the end of the post where I share some of my thrifted goods from last month!
A lot of people nowadays are involved and talking about slow fashion, sustainability, and ethically sourced clothing. I know I’m far away from owning a completely sustainable closet, but I’ve been taking steps to become a more conscious and mindful consumer. I can choose to be more informed and aware of how my actions may impact other people and our environment. I can use my voice to also share stories and others’ perspectives. I’m trying to change my mindset and consume without much intention, need, or thought. Is it necessary? Is it going to make me happy?
A survey of 1,004 respondents in the USA and UK (November 2018) for Futerra by OnePulse showed that 88% of consumers want brands to help them live sustainably. CGS, a global provider of business applications, enterprise learning and outsourcing services surveyed over 1,000 U.S. individuals ages 18-65+ on how sustainable products and business practices are driving their buying preferences. A key finding from the survey included the fact that buyers want sustainable products and over one-third are willing to pay an extra 25% for them. You can read more here.
After China, Bangladesh is home to over 4,000 clothing factories that employ over 4 million workers and is the second-largest exporter of garments worldwide. In January, I read this article which covers that there had been widespread protests/strikes regarding garment workers’ wages. Their wages start at $95 USD a month…who here can live off of that for a month?
In 2014, Americans bought five times the amount of clothes they did in 1980. “Fast fashion” encourages the production of lower quality clothing where speed is key and the focus is on meeting current trends. This increases the amount of clothing that ends up in landfills. Over 10 million tons of clothing ended up in U.S. landfills in 2014.
We as consumers decide whether or not products succeed in the market. We have the power; where we decide to spend our dollars can help to decrease sweatshop labor. That said, it also isn’t as easy as boycotting brands altogether. For students and those not working full-time, it might be difficult to skip brands that are more affordable since ethical options seem to demand a premium mark-up. An alternative to this, though, is to participate in buying secondhand–purchasing used clothing at Goodwill, local outlets, vintage shops, or social commerce marketplaces like Poshmark, eBay, Depop, or Mercari which can also reduce demand for brand-new products.
Or why not start a clothing swap with some friends to expand options for everyone? My kickboxing buddy and I cleaned out our closets, each came with a huge bag of unwanted clothes and ended up picking up a few items from each other while donating the rest.
Our choices become habits and we know that habits become behavior. We can’t change people’s mindsets overnight, but behavior impacts mindset.
I absolutely LOVE thrifting and I wanted to share some great finds I found last month at Goodwill:
Item 1: J.Crew skirt at $7.99 (oh hello there part of my leg in the photo!)
Item 2: Madewell striped dress at $12.99 (really great fit and made well…haha- I wore it for my sister’s graduation last month!)
Item 3: SM WARDROBE bird print dress at $12.99 (so stinkin’ cute!)
Item 4: Mango sweater at $7.99 (warm + soft!)
Item 5: GAP tank at $7.99 (very thick + soft)
So here I am…trying to be a more conscious consumer.
What do you think about fast/slow fashion? Which of the above thrifted item is your favorite?