A Globalized economy and technology has done wonders towards improving the quality of life for people around the world. But as is true for any new tool, it can be put to a good and a bad use. While the global economy and mass production have made sure that the cost of fashion does not get exorbitant, it has also led to the use and throw culture of fashion. Some items of clothing are so cheap (especially for those in developed countries, given the much higher buying power of their currencies) that people buy it for just one time use and then it lands in trash.
And so, what is so wrong with that? The trouble is that when even a fraction of 7 billion inhabitants of our earth indulge in such a behavior, the costs of that are much more than the price tag of that item of clothing. No, the price tag of that thrown away item does not reflect its true cost: the cost of growing cotton, use of fertilizers, use of a very costly commodity: water, health costs to that farmer getting cancer, health costs to those employed in sweatshops (because a very cheap piece of clothing is ALWAYS a product of sweatshops), if the item is an artificial material like polyester, then the problem of use fossil fuel, cost to environment whenever fossil fuels are used during its production and transportation, and a heavy cost to environment when that item lands in the growing pile of world garbage (that emits methane, a greenhouse gas). So, how come the price tag is so low? That is because a lot of these costs are either secondary or never even considered. We have taken the resources of the earth for granted. We do not pay for it. But not for long. These costs are catching up and consequences are rearing their head. Global warming, loss of good land and resources, climate change, etc. have started to have disastrous effects on the earth and everybody on it.
As per this article on ecowatch.com, fashion industry is the second largest polluter on earth, only next to oil!
However, all is not lost. There is much we can do to temper these outcomes. Our fashion and shopping choices can be a part of that movement.
Here are a few tips:
Plan Your Wardrobe
First suggestion would be to plan your wardrobe carefully. IT is better to have fewer but good quality, longer lasting items in your wardrobe. It keeps your house and the earth uncluttered. Imagine all the throw aways from your closet lying in a pile forever in your backyard!! Keep choice clothes, classier pieces in your wardrobe. And encourage your teenage and young adult kids to do so too! Cherish your clothes and take care of them. They will last longer.
Throw a fashion Exchange Party!
Tired of a beautiful piece of clothing you have. Well, it happens. YOu ultimately do want to move on! So throw a fashion exchange party. Get some great pieces from your friends and some of them would be very excited to have yours!
One search on Google or Facebook will throw up plenty of web stores and groups of people who offer pre-worn relatively new outfits at great discounts. You can often find designer labels at an affordable price. Such platforms are a great way of utilizing beautiful clothes to their fullest potential.
Use bio-degradable material
Stick to natural fabrics such as cottons, whilst avoiding synthetic produce like polyester. Try to avoid plastic accessories that do not degrade for several decades. Wood and metal are better choices that are easier to degrade or recycle.
Say no to animal based products
Use of leather, animal skin or fur for accentuating your fashion sense is nothing short of a crime on animals. If you must, use faux products that are often designed to closely resemble original pieces, whilst sparing the lives and health of poor animals.
Invest in Classics
A well cut trouser, a snug fitting black dress, nude pumps, the perfect red lipstick – these are all classics that will last you season after season.Do not fall prey to seasonal fads that won’t last more than a few weeks.
Mix and match your existing pieces
Several tops, kurtas and blouses can be easily mixed and matched with varying bottoms, salwars and sarees to create completely different looks. Even a few great pieces can be used to create innumerable great looks. So it makes sense to limit your wardrobe to a limited number of versatile pieces rather than clutter it with innumerable outfits.
Give your stuff a whole new dimension
Turn your mom’s sari into a contemporary kurti, cut up your jeans into a pair of shorts; you get the drift. There are several ways to give a whole new twist to an old outfit and make it wearable. Use your creativity and a pair of sharp scissors, and there you go.. a whole new wardrobe!
So girls, use our pointers and give your fashion sense a sustainable twist. Time to go green, babe!