Don’t you start to get tired of all the greenwashing out there? All those brands mastering their art of marketing and PR, trying to convince us customers that by buying their stuff, we are helping the environment. It’s time we take back the power over our decisions and become empowered in the way we consume fashion and other stuff.
Think about it. Why would you take advice on what to buy from someone who has never met you in your life? Are you just like anyone else? Do you not have your personal preferences? Your personal style? Your personal taste in fashion, food, and other goods and services?
Don’t feel bad. I totally get this, as I used to be in your shoes (well, of course my own shoes but in a similar position). I was compelled to draw my wallet when I received promotional offers from webshops as Zalando, ASOS, Boozt, H&M, ZARA, other INDITEX brands, but also independent brands that I had shopped from in the past. You see, when you leave your e-mail address with them, it’s the fastest way for the brand to reach you and you wallet again. And again. And again.
The more you and fellow customers fill the brand’s bank accounts, the bigger they get. Well, is that not just the reason why the fast fashion industry is so massively big today?! We all know the answer. The question then becomes; “If we have been feeding the monster, can we starve it as well?” It sounds cruel, but I like to play with words so take this with a grain of salt. Or not. Take it literally, why wouldn’t you? Don’t you want fashion to be a true force for good?
Let’s face it. If we continue to feed the monster, it will keep growing bigger, and bigger, and bigger. At the same pace, the environment will get more polluted, the air will become more unbreathable, the planet will heat up more, the sea levels will keep rising, oh, and then humanity might face mass extinction.
I’m sorry if this is painting a gruesome picture for you. I never intend to hurt anyone’s feelings. But, this is just what Scientific evidence has been showing us. Don’t shoot the messenger, please.
Are you thinking what I’m thinking…?
Can we get out of this mess? And how?
Call me naïve, but I am highly optimistic that we can reverse global warming! It would be done over a period of time, by following the guidelines to enter the circular economy.
You see, when we human beings would live inside a circular economy, this means, in the words of Kate Raworth, that we would meet the needs of all (nutrition, shelter, clothing, happiness, etc.) within the means of the planet.
How do we, customers, make fashion go circular?
I am so incredibly glad you asked! (Or not, but please bear with me, I’m getting to the point)
The first thing to realise is that by buying more, especially because it’s branded as GREEN/CONSCIOUS/VEGAN/CIRCULAR/SUSTAINABLE, you do not necessarily help the environment. Economists call this the Sustainability Paradox with a fancy term, which refers to the contradictory character of offering “sustainable” products. As Holly Syrett of The Sustainable Apparel Coalition said during the World Economic Forum 2020: “the most sustainable clothes are the ones you already have in your closet”. So have a fresh look at your wardrobe, and reflect on each item why you bought them and how you will use them in the near future (like, today or tomorrow?).
Then, should you absolutely desire to buy a new garment, a pair of shoes, a handbag, or the likes, look for products that are 100% compostable and made in a low impact way in a transparent and ethical supply chain. I know, this is a lot of work. But, you will get into it sooner than later.
For all your questions, please send me a message on IG, @circularfashiondetective