I still remember Saturday fashion shopping excursions in the company of my mum. As a teenager, you tend to be drawn to all things flamboyant and trendy as if clothes could help you become a better version of yourself. In fact, they can and one thing I have found out 10 years later is that my mum, meticulously reading every small label and assessing fabric composition, was right. Clothes reflect who you are.
Quick route to conscious buying
Upon reaching my mid-twenties, I have become a different fashion consumer. I discerned the power of clothes that stand for quality. Yes, they last longer. Yes, they are practically timeless. And yes, I can spend a little bit more on them because I won’t regret the investment. The next step on this route to conscious buying? Learning how to make sustainable, ethical choices. Having watched the documentary “The True Cost”, unveiling the exploitation of fashion workers and natural resources that is mainly caused by the ever-accelerating pace of already fast ‘fast fashion’, I was speechless. I promised myself to change my buying habits and rethink my relationship with fashion. Then, I started to read.
I did not dive too deep into textile books but I started to read forums. It still amazes me how much some people know and how much we can learn from each other. I came across a great initiative called ‘Fashion Revolution’ that operates in different countries across the globe and monitors the fashion industry in search of unethical practices. I also studied the fabrics and the working conditions of various manufacturing countries. I stopped questioning garments’ higher price when I’ve seen they were produced locally, of natural eco fibres. For the first time in my life, I’ve made a wishlist that comprised of only quality products I knew I’ll spend some time saving for. It took me a while to believe it was worth it but when I saw my wardrobe filled with a couple of truly beautiful, timeless and sustainable pieces, I realized its value has grown.
This red light lits up in your head once you define and embrace your style. And style comes with age. Also, budget management is something we – Millennials – learn a little bit later comparing to our parents in the past. Multiple small buys consumed the same part of my salary as one quality piece that I truly enjoy and which I won’t have to throw away the next season. It’s good to know your money was well spent.
So if there one tip I can, I’d say: slow down. Read the labels, look for independent designers, save up and celebrate every purchase. That’s the only way to save the environment from the disaster, your budget from being wasted and yourself from becoming a blind consumer.
Check our Clean Fashion edit here.