Where do I start on this topic, millions of words and comments race through my head as I try to write this blog about our addiction to buying cheap fashion. I am guilty as charged and can hardly keep myself from being hypnotized by the 75% OFF signs and marketing luring me into every store, the $5.99 shirts and the constant internet adds, I don't even have to go to a store anymore, I am subconsciously brainwashed via Facebook adds on the right hand side of my page. I can order a $20 jacket online without leaving the house, I save and can be lazy. I can measure myself and get a custom "made to order" dress for under $200, wow what a deal, no more fighting other shoppers over the sales rack for the last size, or going into perfume infused, over heated shopping malls. We are being bombarded anywhere we look and listen, billboards, radio adds, TV commercials, Facebook and much more.
Let me begin by telling you something personal, and I am going against what they say when you are on a mission to achieve a challenge (the more people you tell the more likely you won't do it), but now I will have to or I will be the biggest hypocrite. About a month ago I made a promise to myself that I will NOT buy one single new item for 1 year (except undergarments if needed). However I can buy from second hand stores or make the garments myself, so it's not that I cannot get something if I "needed" it, I just have to find an alternative source than "new". The reason for me challenging myself to this is, to change my shopping habits as well as being in charge over my buying impulses. All these years I was influenced by magazines, marketing, fashion icons, trends, convenience (internet shopping) and sales, to buy more and more. What I look for in clothes are natural fibers and if possible, eco friendly, organic, natural dyed etc, however the availability of such items is scarce, basic in design, or more expensive (understandably so). I feel like my ethics and morals about fashion changes as soon as I enter a mall/store, I suddenly see colors, embellishments, sparkles, styles and varieties with affordable prices or better, ON SALE, that I immediately throw all my ideals overboard and get a rush of buying. I want it all, I still check the labels to make sure I buy cotton, linen, silk, wool etc, however the whole subject on where it is made, how it is made, who makes it and quality just doesn't find a place in my brain, I am so over consumed about what I can buy for $200.....
I just recently came across this amazing trailer about fashion called "The True Cost", searching for the whole film, I realized it had not been made yet and was on kick starter to be financed. Immediately I contributed to this project because it seemed an important message to the world. What we don't see we don't care, but we all do it, buy clothes and some of us to an addictive degree. Once the film is out I will definitely post it's release date and sure hope for a local screening.
I don't wan to be controlled or addicted, yet I want to be a fashion designer..... How can that work? How can I be successful or make money if I go against everything I really want? I strongly believe that there is a place for "true fashion" a label that reflects integrity, which means to me; workers are compensated properly and are in a safe work environment, quality is made to last and that moving forward implementing more sustainable and environmentally practices are a main driving force. It's important to be transparent, to make a price reflect what is in a product and supply valuable information. There are for sure limitations and I cannot yet follow through with everything I would like to as an immerging designer, my intention is to keep all of this in the foreground when making decisions and slowly moving towards perfecting my ideal solution as I grow.
The more awareness we create as an individual or company we can make changes. Our overconsumptions and addictions are becoming a lifestyle that has an effect around the world.
"Each garment you wear or item you own carries a story that you are a part of, even if it is a tragedy."
The True Cost Trailer:
Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion
Samples of advertising, for these prices I could not even buy fabric to make it on my own, now considering that there was a human being who had to sew these, where is the cost of labor?
Made to order dress for under $161.77
Sweaters for $7.09....
This FUR jacket is $39.48, it does not state its faux fur and looks very real, however even if it is faux fur, who can make a jacket for $39.48 and where is it made, what conditions?