Did you know that the first Zara store opened in 1974? I certainly did not, I thought the fast fashion companies that are synonymous with that god awful concept were all relatively new (H&M was founded in 1947, if you can believe it!!!)
So why and how did wearing beautifully created quality clothes that you cherished from year to year (ie sloooow fashion) ended us all here? A time where we do not respect the clothes we buy/wear ? How can we, when an outfit may be cheaper than a sandwich?
When did a non-consumable item (a thing that may be enjoyed without altering its substance except for natural deterioration over time) become a consumable (a thing that is consumed or depleted upon use, disposable, expendable, replaceable. Throwaway.) It is sad to even type this definition.
We can definitely blame social media but only partially. I believe all of us make conscious decisions when we buy disposable clothing with excuses, like:
- It is too expensive
- I like to have options in my closet
- What will everyone think if they see me wearing something twice (try thrice??)
- I get bored easily, blah, blah blah….
I have said these myself, and everytime, it cost me more money cause I ended up going back and buying the good quality/more expensive product after the cheap one broke and/or was disposed of.
It is time to ask ourselves now - which one actually is more budget friendly? The quality one - ALWAYS!
One positive thing about Covid 19 lockdown has been, at least for me, was to slow down and really think about my purchases:
“Do I really need it or is this some kind of sheep mentality that we all bought into to make us buy more, consume more, and throw away more?”
And by buying more, do we feel we are more beautiful, richer, cooler, thinner (just add an adjective)? This systemic brainwashing has been going on for decades - women surely feel it more but now men are included in the target pool, congrats to us all!
I know this must be odd coming from a designer that ultimately creates clothing for people to wear, but I have always been on the European way of dressing - owning something timeless and wearing it for years (the joke that Zara and H&M are both European brands is not lost on me)
This is why I try to create at least 80% of all my designs from surplus fabric and try to create timeless pieces that are good quality and made by people who are treated ethically (karma matters). I make one collection a year, if that (full disclosure:this is also because I have a very demanding job that pays the bills ;))
I guess I try to have a slow fashion brand that makes clothing from upcycled materials, and I would not have it any other way. I know it may be more expensive than bigger brands, and may only be appreciated by a select group of people, but hey, this is how I achieve mindfulness.