Are There Skeletons in Your Closet?
A guide to ethical and sustainable fashion
As a society held together through the latest trends on social media, a society that views an average of 4000 advertisements per day in first world countries, it is easy to be pulled into the consumerism mindset.
Has it ever crossed your mind how your clothing got to you? Do you ever think of the materials involved? Who crafted it? How much they were paid? These are all things I want you to start thinking about, things I want you to consider while making a purchase; after all, what kind of world do you want for yourself?
Furthermore, did you know that the happiest people usually aren't the ones who "have it all." They're usually the ones who only have what they love and use, and devote their spare time to things that help to better themselves. People who do the things that they're passionate about and focus a lot on their relationships with others.
There used to be two seasons of fashion per year, summer/spring and fall/winter. Currently we have over 50 seasons of fashion per year, always trying to change what's in and out of style and push the new "best thing." Of course, along with the two original things were things like formal wear, but the clothing lasted, and it was not affordable to be purchasing the amount of clothes we do today.
Let me ask you a question: How many of your clothes are collecting dust? Do they all fit you? Are they ripped or stained? Do you LIKE them? Why would you keep things that you don't use or receive joy from? Why do you let THINGS drag you down? It doesn't make sense to me. Do you hate clutter but can't let go of items? It's time to rethink materialism and to stop hoarding excess items.
It's becoming increasingly popular to own capsule wardrobes, but how does one do that? It's simple. Buy items that are versatile. You don't want to own clothing that can only be worn one way; multiple combinations allow for a change in style. Simple things like jewelry, a jacket, or a belt can completely alter an outfit. There is no sense in buying items that you only plan to wear once in your life.
Furthermore, the fast fashion industry promotes items made by people in poor working conditions, and with poor pay, not to mention the environmental impact of making these items, and that they most inevitably end up in landfill. Not to mention the amount of items that use leather, feathers, or fur from animals in the name of "fashion." Contrary to popular belief, those industries are not byproducts of animal agriculture, and the animals are usually conscious when having their skin or feathers ripped out. Horrible, right?
How can you avoid the fast fashion industries?
- Use what you already own. Whether it's adding accessories or wearing it in a different fashion, even upcycling into something totally new, you might find that you really don't need the item you were thinking about.
- Buy secondhand. You are not supporting the cruel industries, you are saving items from landfill, and generally, saving money too. Many local thrift stores also give to charities, which helps you feel even better about your decision to shop there.
- Shop brands with values. Look into the policies of production to find out if they are sweatshop free, as well as the materials to avoid the microplastic problem from polyester materials, the cruelty of animal-based materials, and the general pollution of production.
I hope that this will encourage you to think about your purchases within these industries, and consider making kinder choices for the people, the animals, the planet, and, of course, yourself.