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I'm not proud of it, but I used to binge-shop. I'm not 100% sure if that's a real term, but it really sums up my attitude towards shopping in the past. I’d shop just because it was fun and not because I actually needed or ended up using the things I bought. I'd head to Primark on a Saturday and pick up items that I had no long-term interest in, just for the heck of it. It's quite sad. It's also interesting. (On my degree we delve into the psychology of consumerism and capitalism so I can't really help but be critical of my past actions. I think that, looking back, it may have been an indulgent outlet for a low self-esteem kind of situation. I'm definitely not the only one to feel and act this way, and that is also pretty sad.) But anyways, my attitude has changed a lot since then. And I am very grateful that it has. 

Going vegan really helps you reassess your impact on the planet. I'm not trying to bang the drum here, it was simply an unexpected result of eating vegan. It makes sense when you think about it - because it forces you to take a step back and see behind the marketing of meat and products and prompts you to ask where your clothes and food come from. Again, I don't want to go all 1984 on you, but (to put it bluntly) we are all being spoon fed a great big bunch of lies. And it's killing us. It's killing the planet. It's killing animals - animals who want to live and thrive and be with their family just as much as we do. When we eat animals, when we wear animals, when we drink milk or have scrambled eggs, we are taking away their ability to live. You can push that to the back of your mind as much as you like, but it is a fact that remains nonetheless. And it's really very heartbreaking. The leather trade, exotic skins, fur, even wool - something as seemingly-harmless as wool - all products of misery. 

But hey, maybe you don't care about animals. Maybe you just don't care. Do you care about people? Do you care about people being crushed as factory buildings collapse around them? (An event that happens more often than you would think). Workers beaten if they dare to ask their manager for a living wage? Who can't afford to look after their children so have to live miles apart? You know what's funny... you hear YouTubers talk about the Forever 21 top their got for $3, but you don't hear them mention the 12 year old refugee who sewed it together. Funny that. Why don't we ask where our clothes come from? Why don't we care? 

Because we are coerced not to do so. Our attention is taken up with the constant 70% off sales and everything must go! and special deals and hauls. It all plays a part in the big brain-washing wave of modern consumerism. Why don't we care? Why is it seen as uncool to care? Or even seen as being extreme to raise these important questions? When did trying to be more considerate become so crazily extreme? We need to wake up and take responsibilty for our planet, our brothers and sisters working in the factories, and our fellow animals.

And if you're not bothered about animals, or about worker's rights (out of sight out of mind and all that) then it's important to know that the fashion industry is the second most damaging industry on the planet, second only to the oil industry. Though I am unaware of the exact source and the accuracy of that fact, I was still very shocked when I first heard it. Shocked & appauled. Not because of the awful detriment to the environment (although obviously that's a massive factor), but because I had no idea. Not at all. No idea either about the two million tonnes of clothes that end up in landfills every year in the UK. Two million. Unimaginable. And yet - out of sight. We are so blindsighted as a nation that it is time to take some responsibility for the mess we are making everytime we shop fast fashion.

Just some food for thought.

I'm sorry that this wasn't a particularly chirpy post, but it's been in my mind and I needed to vent. I'm passionate about the creativity and craftmanship behind the wonderful world of fashion, but equally passionate about the need for concious consumption. But I want to end this post with one of the many frustrating parts of this entire situation: we can make a difference by changing how and where we shop. It doesn't have to be doom & gloom. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of sustainable fashion for empowering women and working with the environment, not against it. Meanwhile also catering to the trends of the fast moving fashion world. It just takes a little more thought than we are currently giving it. Be. The. Change.

Has anyone got a recommendation of some sustainable fashion brands? I'm not buying first hand as much as possible, but for some things (underwear, say) it's kind of necessary. I've got my eye on quite a few brands, but would love to hear if you have any favourites!


1 comment:

  1. I´m from Uruguay!! I would stand up and clap to this post forever!!!