What you wear is an insight into your worldview. Just like food, friends, and hobbies, your wardrobe choices express your beliefs, feelings, and outlook.
The clothes we buy impacts the changing world around us. Our clothes tell a story about our lives and what kind of world we want to live in. What story do you want to tell?
We use the term Fast Fashion for low-cost clothing that mimics luxury fashions and reproduces collections en masse. These companies compress the fashion production cycle from months to days. They hire thousands of designers to pump out catwalk-style garments and complete production in time to distribute the clothes to stores within weeks. For example, you can buy a knock off of that dress you saw on a celebrity at the Oscars within a week of the Academy Awards broadcast. It wasn’t always a mass-consumer-obsessed market, though.
The role of a tailor or dressmaker changed in the early 1900s. The industrial revolution allowed us to produce clothes that were both cheap and chic, a delight which human history had never seen. Buying clothing based on what was fashionable had never been feasible on such a scale. In the past, people placed emphasis on repairing their hand-made clothes, rather than keeping up with fashion trends. Even through most of the first half of the 1900s consumers would take good care of their fashion investments, and make careful decisions about purchasing new clothes. Today’s trend takes things a step further: rather than repair, people buy popular, disposable clothing. Due to globalization issues, improved high-volume production abilities, and the ability to make relatively low-cost high-volume fashion purchases, we have traveled far from the original concept of clothing: to protect our bodies from the elements.
There are many reasons Fast Fashion should make us feel uncomfortable:
- Pollutants: Fast fashion is one of the worst causes of pollution in the world. The mass production of poorly-made garments using cheap synthetic materials is taxing on the environment, both to produce and to dispose of.
- Peer pressure: Women feel self-conscious because fast fashion promotes the over-consumption of frivolous clothing. There is constant pressure on women to stay trendy, even when these clothes do not fit well or suit a woman's style.
- Quantity, not quality: We forgo quality in favor of quantity. The timeless pieces that were once closet staples are now exchanged for ill-fitting clothing that changes from season to season.
- Poor factory conditions: In 2013, the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed and exposed the horrendous factory conditions the workers were enduring. This brought attention to how fast fashion functions so cheaply.
Here’s what you can do about it:
- Check your labels: Be aware of where your clothing is made.
- Before making a purchase: Do you already have something like it?
- Repair, don’t replace: Do you just need a repair or do you need a new piece?
- Vote with your wallet: Shop from vendors who share your worldview.
One Savvy Mother strives to help you tell a beautiful story with what you put on your body each morning. Our sourcing policy is very selective.
- We give eco ratings that reflect positive production ethics.
- We sell gorgeously designed accessories from environmentally conscious designers like ReWilder, which repurposes materials that were on their way to the landfill.
- We provide stylish statement pieces from designers that employquality and durability with a distinct style, like Katie Mawson out of England.
- And we love Project Have Hope’s dedication to bringing education, skills, and income to women who need it most.
When you choose simple, beautifully crafted pieces that are timely but independent over fast fashion’s latest trends, you not only look great, but you feel great, too. Your clothing choices make very powerful statements about who you are and what you stand for. Make the relationship you have with your clothes authentic and expressive of the positive change you want to see in the world.
designers mentioned in this post: