I am guilty of being the type of person who can go hours doing online window shopping for clothes. I imagine creating a new identity for myself through it. It’s fun to do. My wish lists have reached great lengths. But at the end of the day? I can’t afford all of those clothes, and I know that even if I did have the money, I probably wouldn’t feel so great about the purchase.
I have had to battle this out in my head sometimes as I’m scrolling through sites like Forever 21 and H&M. There are so many cute things, and most of them are pretty affordable. Why not buy some shirts? I’d get use out of them. But then I think to myself and realize these are cheaply made products that often do not hold up very well. More often than not, they are also produced overseas and do not treat their employees fairly. And personally I want to shop as sustainably as I can and not be throwing things out at the end of each season. I see this as something that I can change about my shopping habits and not contribute to, no matter how tempting it is.
Starting now, I have decided to stop purchasing from these so-called “fast fashion” companies. I want only to support places that I have absolutely no qualms about supporting, such as thrift shops where clothing is being recycled, and to only buy new things if I’m 100% sure something that I could get good use out of it and will love for years to come. Not only does this save me money because I won’t be making as many new purchases, but I’ll feel better about where the money that I do spend is going.
A case in which I would feel great about buying something new, is something like a new pair of shoes or a blazer from Brave Gentleman, or a winter coat or dress from Vaute Couture. These are both sustainable, vegan companies that are doing their part to make a difference in the fashion industry.
While these brands do have higher price tags, you are paying for the quality and the fair practices that they put at the forefront of their business. I predict that those items are going to be sticking around on my wish list for quite some time, but one day when I have the means, I intend to make them a part of my closet!
Leanne Mai-Ly Hilgart, the founder of Vaute Couture herself says, “Most of my clothes come from church resale shops and thrift stores. But then, the pieces I want to support are the pieces I save up for — and I know that my money is supporting ethical practices.”
Vote with your dollar! If you like what someone is doing, support them. 🙂