How To Buy Less And Support Ethical Fashion

f25c3977887f8130a1196df21576eb2b.jpgWe live in a consumer society where the media and advertising industry is telling us that we lack something in our lives, which can only be fulfilled through purchasing a product. In the Fashion Industry, fast fashion is constantly encouraging consumers to buy clothes they don’t necessarily need. I’ve previously written about minimalism, because I find that when it comes to the clothes we purchase, we should take a simple approach. The clothes we have should have quality, longevity and reflect our personal style. They should be an investment, rather than a passing object that will be gone in a years time. Most of my clothes are second hand, because in my teenage years, I realised the side effects of purchasing fast fashion.

‘Home’ by goddess @lordnewry_ 🌞

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The clothes we wear have a story. Often it’s untold, and we may not know it’s background or the person who made the piece of clothing. I think it’s important to support businesses who practice what they preach, are transparent, live and breathe a positive and honest approach and have an ethos that strives to bring awareness in having a piece of clothing to treasure (not throw). When we buy less, and buy carefully and thoughtfully, we have pieces of clothing that truly reflect who we are. We don’t conform to trends, but we wear what feels most ourself.

Buying less saves money, and it also allows one to spend time to buy in places which have good values. It allows you to stop for a moment, and consider the company you are supporting and how much clothing end up in landfills. There is this desire to buy, because we are always introduced to the new, exciting and colourful. We are told that we shouldn’t be seen wearing the same thing often, but I think it should be the opposite, in that we should wear our favourite clothing as many days as we love. I think of during the colder days, where I can wear the same outfit for 2 or 3 days, by mix matching.

There is a lot of leftover clothing. When I go thrift shopping, the overwhelming amount of clothes that are looking for a new home is huge. The fashion industry thrives on mass production and as a result, mass consumption. It profits off of it, and it also in a way, thrives off telling us that we are always in need of more. However, in many aspects of our lives, we have what we need. For example, if we have a comfortable home, food and loving friends and family, we don’t have that desire to keep seeking more. We’re deeply satisfied. Yet, the media feeds us sensations to persuade us that we deserve to feel good, but only temporarily, which in turn, makes one always striving to feel that level of satisfaction.

Repost from @fash_rev. 💚 No one should die for fashion. But five years today, 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women. Earlier that morning, workers were threatened with loss of their monthly pay if they did not proceed into Rana Plaza to work. Despite the cracks being identified the day before and their requests to not return to the factory floors, without any form of union representation they had no collective strength to stand up for themselves. There were 29 brands identified in the rubble. It would take years for some of them to pay compensation. For some families, providing DNA evidence to claim that compensation, would never be possible. To this day a high percentage of survivors are unemployed and suffer from severe trauma. Today is the reason we need a Fashion Revolution. Today we think of the true cost of our clothing. The hands that make our garments and the families they belong to and the stories that they carry. Today over at @fash_rev they will be sharing stories of garment workers from the Rana Plaza collapse and looking at what’s changed since 24.04.13. Please follow along and encourage others to join this vital movement 🙏🏽 Let’s show the industry we care about the people who make our clothes. Ask brands #whomademyclothes? www.fashionrevolution.org #fashionrevolution #tradefairlivefair Repost @fash_rev

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There are many clothing companies that are raising more awareness on transparency. Where we spend our money, is essentially who we are supporting. Spending can be a form of addiction, and the satisfaction of buying materials can become a habit. Everything requires balance. Invest in well-made materials. It’s easy to buy cheap clothing, and feel good because we can look good. There’s so much behind the scenes, and it’s easy for us to let it slide by when we ignore it. The more we question #whomademyclothes the more we can encourage companies to improve their standards.

Buying less, is asking oneself, do I need this? It’s also considering if you have a piece of clothing of similar style. I’ve found from buying clothing nearly every week as a teenager, to buying two or three times a year, it’s a huge change. The clothes I wear are long lasting, whereas in the past, the clothes bought from fast fashion companies, were disposed of in the end of the year. It’s made me more confident in my own personal style, and allowed me to save money and shop more consciously.

What are your thoughts on clothing consumption? 

Photography by Merab Chumburidze 

6 thoughts on “How To Buy Less And Support Ethical Fashion

  1. Glad to see a post like this on my feed! For a few years now I stopped buying from brands who use sweat shops like forever 21 and h&m. But this year is when I’m starting to feel less joy from purchasing clothes I dont need. I now need to buy from brands that really are aware of what’s going on in the fashion industry instead of purchasing from big names who act like they know, but really just want to seem like it (Nike, puma Levi’s, etc. I think they all use sweat shops) thanks for this post. Its definitely a reminder for me to do better!

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