Some of my motives for writing about clothing experiences are to elevate the status of clothing in your wardrobe, to encourage you to carefully buy new clothes and take care of those you already have, and to consider the environmental and humanitarian impacts of your shopping choices.
In light of current political activity and mood in the U.S., it seems trite to share a story about clothing when there are weightier issues on the table: mass incarceration, human trafficking, poverty, corruption, human rights violations, environmental devastations and, latest, refugees have just been barred from entering our freedom-loving nation. This is heavy stuff, but I can no longer look away.
I want to stress anew the power that we have as consumers and citizens; this power is fueled by knowledge and information. In a democracy, even a version of one, we all have the responsibility to know our rights and stay informed (through a wide range of credible channels), and then to speak up when ours and other’s rights are in violation. One of our powers is to vote with our dollars- what we give money to, we give power to. Let it be a worthy, ethical entity.
Given the above dump truck’s worth of issues that violate human rights, there is much to be done. Shopping responsibly is one important and simple thing we can do, here’s how:
- Shop Thrift, Vintage, Second hand. There is so much great stuff out there already, let it inform your personal style.
- Shop only when you need something, rather than as a hobby, habit or compulsion.
- Shop brands and stores that you trust. It only takes a minute to google a brand and see how they score on an ethics/environmental test. Give your money to a brand that cares! the good trade ecocult project just
- Shop in your closet or share/swap clothes with siblings and friends.
- Shop for quality. Buy items that are well made and will last you more than a few wearings.
- Shop for your individual style instead of only shopping trends. Be your beautiful self and have fun figuring out what your style is, or test the limits of your established style.
- Take care of the clothes you have, be grateful for them. Hang dry your clothes, don’t over wash, and repair them or find a reliable tailor to help you.