OK. So, I can become very passionate about something (read part 1) to the point of where I want to throw out everything that I’ve ever known and start from scratch again. After finding out that I have 55 slaves that work for me, via the Slavery Footprint web site, it was a little jarring. Then I felt so guilty after watching The True Cost. I felt like I’d rather walk around naked then put on those horrid clothes that I bought from H&M, Old Navy, Gap, Forever 21, anything else from the mall and Target too. I actually went to the mall and into H&M and felt sick to my stomach because I couldn’t stop visualizing the condition that the clothes were probably sewn in. I swore to NEVER EVER EVER under any circumstance buy anything there again.
And then do you know what happened?
I marched right in there the following week and bought a suit for my son’s homecoming dance! Can you believe it?
This is where my desire to do the right thing and real life interesect. They intersect at the two roads Compro and Mise.
How was I supposed to do this thing that weighed heavily on my heart? This is when I had to stop thinking about my failures as a newly informed consumer and turn my attention towards what I had done.
- become aware of something that I no longer wanted to support with my dollars.
- changed my whole attitude towards consumerism.
- actively began seeking alternatives.
- become an advocate for the ethical movement.
- educated my children on this not-so-pretty topic.
- started to care for the women and men that make my clothes.
It is really hard to change a behavioral pattern. Especially when you don’t know where to go for help. Luckly, there’s the internet. And wouldn’t you know there are women who have done the work for me? And business’ already booming with consciousness!
Instead of kicking myself for being the last to the party, I decided that I was arriving fashionably late.
I began making a list of alternatives to fast fashion:
- Wear what’s in your closet. Really. It’s ok. You already bought it. Get the most wears per dollar that you can.
- Thrift. Upcycle. Buy from consignment stores. This is a fun option for me! Giving a garment a longer life means that you are not participating in the fast fashion cycle.
- Buy from companies that are transparent about where they buy their fabrics, and clothing from. (I would like to see more companies like Everlane become radically transparent.)
- Buy from American boutiques. It is a more expensive option, but I love the idea of supporting American brands, especially since my husband and I have a design business and we like to support other American designers.
A combination of these alternatives have been enough to keep me out of the stores that I once exclusively shopped in. And guess what? H&M and Gap responded to The True Cost film and came up with a very small conscious line. If we support these lines with our dollars, then large companies will be more likely to expand their lines.
Woohoo! I can breath again. I have a plan that I can actually follow through with and a mission to stay away from fast fashion.
What do you think? Do you need to slow it way down, or make any changes when it comes to where you buy your clothes from? Have you watched The True Cost on Amazon or Netflix yet?