I have had my fair share of shopping sprees, whether is was an afternoon activity with my girlfriends, out of frustration over a breakup, temptation during “sale season” or just out of pure boredom. What all those extensive sprees had in common was that when I got home with bags and bags of clothes I felt happy for a moment and at the same time unsatisfied because I had spent so much money and I had to create more storage space. What the clothes all had in common was that a few months into wearing them they got washed out, worn out and baggy, making it necessary for me to plan my next shopping spree right away.
I never even thought about this absurd pattern, never thought about if there was a different way buy things and a different way to care for stuff.
When I read “The Blackbook on Brand Companies” by Klaus Werner-Lobo and Hans Weiss, which talks about the exploitation of the very people who make the clothes that I then wear with so much pride, it was clear to me that I couldn’t participate in this trend any longer. I started thinking about the perversity of me trying to live healthily and consciously, trying to influence my friends into making better choices and to live a healthier lifestyle, while I go on shopping sprees buying jeans for a price that is way higher than the actual price I pay for the clothes.
I love clothes and I love fashion but right there is where I draw the line because of things that are even more important to me such as equality, fairness, love and dignity for every human being on this planet.
The next step was to figure out how to do this, so I went online and discovered that there are like-minded designers out there who share the same vision and opinion and who – on top of that – make the most exquisite, high quality clothes.
Naturally, those clothes were sold at a higher price and I thought I would not be able to afford them.
So I did the math and it turned out that, had I spent the money that I spent on all those shopping sprees on a few special and high quality, organic fabric pieces, I actually would’ve saved money because the clothes last longer, the colours of the fabric don’t fade as quickly and I would’ve loved and cherished the pieces and therefore would’ve taken better care of them.
Buying organic fairtrade clothes has to be a choice and there will be obstacles along the way. In the beginning, I
would search for good second-hand stores or sites on the internet and buy used, fabulous vintage clothes there. Now, I treat myself to a piece of organic clothing once in a while, which not only makes me feel like I am doing “the right thing” but also like I am spoiling myself. If it was almost wintertime I would invest in a cute organic cashmere sweater that I loved and therefore would want to wear almost every day anyway.
I too had to face the fact that not everything I see was in my category of “things to buy” anymore and it also took a little more time to find things I like to wear to express myself. I didn’t wear the clothes everybody else was wearing anymore but on the other hand, everything I own now is in one or the other way unique.
I can now say I am 100% me inside and out and I live my life with pride because of it. It gives me the possibility to express my pure self through fashion and after all that’s what fashion is really about right!? Fashion is about unique style and an expression of your most inner self.