I haven’t written on the blog for a few days. Instead I have been devouring ‘Overdressed; The shockingly high cost of cheap fashion‘ by Elizabeth L. Cline. It was written a few years ago and I guess I knew some of what to expect which is why I was drawn to it when I saw it on the bookshelves; however my eyes have been opened so much wider on the topic of fast fashion and I am feeling so conflicted at the moment regarding my own personal choices and how they are affecting our economy and the environment.
I love clothes and I get bored easy. I am not alone and I suppose that is the reason why fast fashion appeals to so many of us; It is cheap and can be worn a few times then cheaply replaced with the next trend. We believe we can’t afford to spend money on designer threads made in Australia or the United States of America because a $200 dress is so expensive compared to a similar one at H&M for $34.95. Particularly if we need [want] to wear something different every day.
I love H&M, Forever 21, Topshop, Forever New, Victorias Secret, Urban Outfitters and Zara to name just a few. The prices are too good to pass up and the quality isn’t all that bad. Only a few days ago I went on the hunt for a couple of corporate, professional dresses to wear for work and made a beeline straight to H&M. I have bought most of my corporate wear from H&M and usually pay around $34.95. In fact, I have always paid $34.95 and not a cent more. A few weeks ago I purchased the most beautiful little blue dress for $5 off the sale rack and I love it! So, how could I ever justify paying more. The other day I bought two corporate dresses from H&M for $34.95. It such good value, right? Well, as I look at my new, made in China, polyester dresses I realise that the majority of my fashion choices are based on a decison in the dressing room that goes something along the lines of, ‘It fits ok and the quality is not that bad’… I tried on five dresses that day and chose the two that weren’t too bad.
The more I devour research into the impact of our fashion choices, the more conflicted I feel. I always believed I made good ethical, conscious choices in life. I love organic food, clean eating, recycling and vintage shopping. I love to support local and hand made goods too but then I spend all my spare cash on clothes made in China, Bangladesh or Vietnam where industrial pollution is out of control. Are my consumer choices negatively impacting the environment and the economy? Are my fashion choices contributing to the dangerous working conditions in Bangladesh & other third word countries just so I can feel good in a new outfit & “save money” ? Am I really saving money or am I just buying more?
It seems like a hard road to travel ethically and without being full of hypocrisy. I recycle but won’t think twice about buying a polyester [plastic] skirt produced in harsh conditions using an enormous amount of natural resources; only to end up falling apart after a few washes & in the bin.
If you are still reading well, thank you for listening. I guess sometimes it is just good to release those thoughts from our mind and have the discussion. That is why I love blogging and the blogging network. So now I am going back to my book 🙂
Would you tell me your thoughts on fast fashion and ethical consumption? How much do you know about where your clothes come from? I would love to hear from you and continue the discussion. Also no judgment; we are all a work in a progress. NO ONE is perfect x
Lots of love and lots of peace,
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