I have for the past year not been buying any clothes at all. Not that I was a major shopaholic before, but I am slowly but surely going to run out of good clothes to wear. The ones I have are wearing out more and more and some are less appropriate to wear to work. You might wonder, what has happened? Why aren’t you buying any clothes? Is it for economic reasons or is it that you can’t find anything you like?
No, to all these questions.
I watched a documentary end of last year, called True Cost, and it affected me in so many ways I can’t describe. I already knew the situation was quite bad at factories that make the clothes for the large fast fashion chains but in some way I still wasn’t fully aware. I was at least hoping the situation had been under control since they brought up the issue in the news years ago, something must have changed since then I had imagined myself. I have never been a huge shopaholic in any way, so I am probably the least person anyone should be worried about, that supports this fast fashion industry. Before this strike from buying clothes, I used to buy twice every year when there were sales, either online or in store. Just to stack up on basic clothes and daily wear. I also bought gothic/alternative wear once a year from special shops or online from the UK.
While stopping to buy clothes it’s made me first of all aware of how much clothes wear out, and how quickly these fast fashion clothes become bad or not good looking. Recently I have become desperate in my boycotting that I had to go and buy some basic wear in organic cotton from a store I think I can trust more. I have asked shops questions about where the clothes are produced and how, I’ve become more interested in the industry and been spreading the message to friends and acquaintances over the year. Some of my friends have watched the show after I told them about it and become more aware and active about their clothing choices than ever before. But after one year, I am starting to question to myself, is the answer to boycott these fast fashion companies? Is the best thing to not buy from them ever again? Will my consumer vote impact any of the sales, especially since I wasn’t a huge shopper even before my strike? What are the answers? Do we sew our own clothes to avoid the evident problem in the world? Does not buying the clothes even help the workers who work for the production of the fast fashion clothes? Is the best choice to turn over to buying organic, sustainable clothes from more conscious brands?
I don’t really have the answers, but I want to create a debate and start the discussion and thoughts to flow.
Lately, I have formed new opinions about this topic. I believe we don’t need to stop all together with buying clothes from fast fashion brands, since they’re almost everywhere and it’s hard to get hold of something that has good production without doing hours of research. I do however believe we need to educate ourselves on this topic, and ask the brands for answers, demand better rights for the workers and better sustainable options for the clothes. We cannot just close our eyes on this matter when we have the utmost power to affect the situation as consumers.
When it comes to buying fast fashion, I think it’s better to not buy them so often and try to find options that are organic, sustainable and have a good production chain first and foremost. Try to limit those clothes to be only key, signature items and match them with a lot of basic clothes from brands that are already leading in sustainable and organic clothing.
We can’t save everyone and especially not the entire world, but we can do our part. The smallest action has also an impact in the long run.