The guilty conscience of a fashion blogger
I have loved fashion ever since I can remember. I loved it when I was so stretched as a student window shopping in Oxford Street in 2007 to the very moment I am writing this in 2022. To me, it has and will always be a medium to communicate and express ourselves in a manner which is personal yet global, intellectual yet creative and most of all joyful and memorable. But recently I have been questioning what I do, how I do it and my contribution to the world through my passion, have I done this right?
As a fashion blogger, for the last few years, I have found myself constantly pushing the message ‘buy this’ or ‘buy that’. Not quite consciously but that is what you do. You show an outfit and you share where it is from. You put links, people click on them and purchases happen, businesses thrive, and the economy goes on. But, what happens to all of these things that we buy? Where do they go? Who takes care of the waste? Just because we don't see it walking around shopping in London, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Landfills are a real issue and so are the countries and communities that have to live with them and I find myself guilty as charged the crime of promoting a culture of constant consumption. I had never thought of this seriously before. But doing this job, I have most certainly haven't helped the planet or our humankind, animals and many future generations to come. So during the 6 months, I was off, I dedicated a lot of time to researching the environmental impact of fashion and came to the conclusion that we need to change and that change needs to start with me.
Keeping up with the Joneses
A lot of what we do is because ‘Person A has it so I should have that too’ and while this goes back to as long as we started existing, now is the time to question whether I really really NEED it. Say that you see a top on someone else, there is nothing wrong with buying the same if you loved it, but before we do that we can ask ourselves, so have almost the same in our wardrobe already? Or does that actually suit us, where and when will I wear it and if we will take a step further ask ourselves what is the material it is made of? Is that easily degradable when one day it can no longer be worn.
I am the first one to admit that this is not easy, we are at a time we buy things at lightning speed, the apps are already on our phones, the payment details are saved, so it is just a swipe away, but if we ask ourselves these questions once, and then twice and then thrice, it will then become more of a habit and we will have more curated high-quality items in our wardrobe as opposed a stockpile of random impulsive purchases.
"100 pairs of shoes" Mentality
I have always heard and said to myself along the things "more shoes, the better" or "you don't need an excuse to buy a handbag" but what if we do? Also, when will we wear all of our 100 pairs of shoes or take out the 100 handbags we have? What if we have the pairs of shoes we actually love and wear, comfortable and have a purpose?
I am guilty of having had shoes “just for shooting” or having had bags that are so tiny even my house keys won't fix but I said, “they are trendy right now”. I then asked myself the question, why don't you wear 10 pairs of shoes on the rack anywhere? When will you ever wear this micro bag? Where would it go when the trend finally evaporates? The answers to these questions are ugly, it is the harsh truth that no one wants to hear that it will go to a landfill one day and rot there destroying nature.
So it starts with our mentality. More is not better, just trendy is not better and most certainly no one needs more than they actually use in practicality.
High-end doesn't mean Eco- Friendly
This is where I had it wrong the entire time. I thought if I pay a little extra, then I am more ‘eco-friendly’. While that may help towards paying everyone in the chain equally and getting rid of the sweatshop culture in fashion, it has nothing to do with how bio-degradable an item is or how sustainably it has been made.
I have put a lot of time into researching brands which are more ec0-friendly than the others and here is the list I have gathered so far. I use it for myself every time I am looking for something and perhaps you could too!
(This list has no sponsorships or affiliations attached to it)