Its Fashion Revolution week. Its been one year since I learnt about the tragedy of Rana Plaza. I didn’t know about the forced labour. I didn’t know about places that make women take birth control so that seasonal trendy clothes can make it to the stores on time. I didn’t know about folks not making living wages when additional 40c per t-shirt can make all the difference. I never gave kids being exposed to pesticide in cotton fields much thought. I didn’t know about textile pollution causing the rivers to die. I was a source of pollution. I am glad this day exists. And that it is educating consumers with its coverage. I was taking a break from blogging but I need to do my part. Here are some hidden costs that I learnt about.
Source : Sarah Lazarovic, Illustrator par excellence
1. Every item I discard has a 30% chance of ending up in a landfill if it’s still in a usable condition.
2. Every item I discard has 70% chance of ending up in a landfill if it looks worn out. It may become textile waste or be shipped to a third world country for by-the-pound sale.
3. These items are often not be made with natural fibres. Everytime I wash them, the micro fibers enter the water stream. If the item ends up in a landfill, they pollute the land.
4. They are most probably made in a sweatshop. I funded the guys who abuse their workers.
5. There is a high probability that the dyes they used were unhealthy and no guarantee that the waste was treated before it got released into the rivers.
6. Attitude. If enough of us don’t care, there is no hope. Its a dangerous attitude to have.
7. When we stop valuing craftsmanship, art is dead. Fashion reduces to a showcase of vanity.
8. The planet does not have unlimited resources. How can I take so much ? There is need and there is the greed.
9. No chance for personal style : If I constantly buy and wear new, how can my personal style shine through ? Not having one is incredibly sad.
10. Most of us know the word quality but do not really understand it technically. We haven’t experienced it in a long time to really know.
I have to confess. I have written drafts about Fashion Revolution Day and my distaste for fast fashion but could not get myself to publish them. I do not think I am on the right side of the fence as yet, to preach. While I don’t do fast fashion, I still consume too much. That is also harmful and the root of the problem. I have been educating myself about quality. I am keen on learning everything my mother/great-grand-ma know about quality. They were never the ones who automatically picked out the cheapest option and understood quality. I want to do more. I am also at a stage in my life where I want to invest less of my energy in what to buy. Always having a list of what-to-buy-next is exhausting. I want to do a one year shopping fast. More to test myself. I have failed before but I want to try again. So here we go.
Source : A fantastic book called ‘A bunch of Pretty Things I did not Buy‘
My Fashion Fast Rules:
1. No buying any clothes and shoes starting April 18th. One year is not that long. I have SO MUCH, that it should infact be easy. I have been at ‘closet completion’ for years. Nothing wears out on me anymore. Not even my oldest shoes that I am tired of wearing. #quality
2. This is not a punishment. If I run out of usable underwear, gather holes in my tights or drastically gain weight, I won’t go without.
3. I have my skincare and makeup regimen down to what works for me. No reason to complicate it. Stick to it.
4. Stop browsing online shops as pass time. Squeeze a run by the lake or go to bed early instead, when I have the extra time.
5. It feels like I am at the end of my declutter journey. Treasure and take care of what I have.