It’s a Fashion Revolution Week, folks!
But what I’m going to talk about here, is my personal fashion revolution. It began last January when I enrolled in the Sustainable fashion online course. Or maybe it began last autumn when I reduced my wardrobe so efficiently that I almost had nothing left to wear… Or maybe it began with my love for the environment… and my (suddenly rediscovered) interest in personal style…
Before you say that you cannot possibly combine fashion and ecology, let me tell you: yes, you can! Because there’s fashion and fashion. If you learn to manage your wardrobe and plan your shopping based on your needs rather than the latest trends from fashion magazines, you can totally make it! Yes, you!
Now, you might tell me that this conscious buying trend is very nice and cool but why on Earth do we need to change anything? Clothes have never been so cheap and one has to cover one’s bottom anyway, so why not have some fun? Well, it happens that not every person in the world can have as much fun as we do. Actually, a vast majority of the world’s population are not (and are never going to be) as lucky as we are. Ironically, they happen to be the same people who make the incredibly cheap clothes that we buy and throw away so easily… Shocking, isn’t it?
So… should we feel guilty about it? Well, not exactly: the people who made our clothes don’t need our pity. What they do need is respect and fair wages. And we can help them get what they deserve.
When you order a dress at a dressmaker’s, you expect it to cost a pretty penny and don’t expect it to be ready the same evening. In exchange for your money and patience, you will get a piece that will actually fit you, made from a quality fabric by a professional tailor, to be loved and cherished ever after. But what about a dress that costs less than a pizza? Was it made with care? Was it made to last? Will it make anybody happy? Or will it lose shape/change size/fall apart after a couple of washes and end up in a landfill, like millions of its kin?
So… should we all buy expensive clothes? Or have them tailor-made like in the good old days? While I sincerely wish we could, I know but well enough that it’s impossible. But the case is not hopeless!
The solutions are multiple: buy less, choose carefully, save up and buy quality clothes that you’ll wear for years, buy second-hand, make your own, upcycle, swap… stop trying to catch the fashion train because you can never catch it: no matter how fast you run, it will always be one collection ahead… Don’t be afraid of having a style of your own, of being yourself: that’s what makes you – you!
And participate in the fashion revolution! It’s not Zara, or Maria Missoni, or whoever your personal sartorial guru might be – it’s those anonymous hard-working, underpaid, undervalued girls (and boys) who made your clothes! They are your real heroes. Without them, you’d be walking around naked – think of it!
Going back to my personal fashion revolution… I don’t claim to be completely cured of fast fashion addiction but I’m working on it. How do I do it? I’ll tell you in my next post!