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Tuesday, 23 October 2018

Can we stop buying clothes for the hell of it? | Fashion


For a blog that, I’d like to say keeps fashion at the heart of it as well as the writer (me) having a fashion background and a wholehearted love of it I don’t speak a hell of a lot about it. Which I think is for a number of reasons but this week I’ve had a few ideas that have popped into my head loosely connected with one another so I thought this week I’d like to have a bit of a chat about fashion. 

I’ve had a lot of time on my hands as of late which I’ll be honest about. I’ve been on the dreaded job hunt and been dealing with general adult life stuff which means I’ve had a little more time on my hands than say what I would have had if I was still at university (obviously) and with more time comes less money. 
So I have been incredibly mindful of it and how I spend it which has, in turn, had an impact on my habits to buying clothes.


Now let me just say here I know this is a topic quite a few bloggers/influencers are talking about now after having watched Stacey Dooley Investigates 'Fashions Dirty Secrets' which is, by the way, a really great documentary about the effect the fashion industry is having on the world, if you haven't watched it already go and check it out. Since then I've seen a real positive conversation from people who have a power and influence over their readers.

I watched the documentary last Thursday and actually I am quite ashamed to say it's something that didn’t surprise me in many ways- that's not to say I wasn't alarmed by the pollution from the textile industry being poured into the rivers in Citarum and the effects it has on the people who live there or the effect the Aral Sea has had also. But for the topics, she spoke about like Cotton for example and the amount of water it requires in order to actually make a pair of jeans or a shirt or so was something that we learnt during a project at university. Being taught about the effects the fashion industry has on the world was something I was quite aware of. It’s something both incredibly daunting and scary that isn’t no longer in the future but is happening, Fashion is, unfortunately, polluting our planet. 

From what I'd previously learnt and after watched the documentary I’m also quite honest in saying that much like Stacey at the end of the episode she says she won’t stop shopping altogether I think we can all agree in saying we won’t either but its something we can make more of an effort in being aware of. Making more of an active approach in not buying so much 'fast fashion' is one. There are a number of different ways to shop that don't harm (as much) of the planet.

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I’ve touched on this kind of thing before whereby I spoke last year about shopping Vintage/Secondhand and preserving something that can live on as well as shopping independently which is something that may last longer and in turn help out smaller businesses. Both two ways that can completely change the way you shop. 
I did mention this in my Shopping Independently post but just to touch on it again you may not realise but smaller brands can, in fact, be more aware and play a part in being more sustainable. I mention this because I wear and promote a brand called Bottle Blonde Studio on my blog regularly (not an AD) These gorgeous trousers I’m wearing in this post are made by them- which by the way I ADORE. The first time I put them on I screamed at Jay 'THEY HAVE POCKETS' which really requires no explanation does it?
Bottle Blonde Studio makes one-off zero waste pieces that are made from the excess of other pieces they make so that no a part of the fabric is wasted which makes them play a part in being a zero waste brand. Not only them but brands like Burnt Soul who make Eco Lyrca made from 100% recycled fabrics with their black lycra being made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. 
Another brand called Soul and Flare (in their words) 'reduce, reuse, repair and recycle' whereby they sell only clothes that fall under that category. 
And more recently I came across a brand on Instagram called Charity Fashion Live that during LFW recreated the looks in real time using only what they found in charity shops. They also invite guest bloggers onto their page to share their tips and tricks when it comes to shopping charity or creating DIYs. 


Even prior to watching Stacey Dooley's documentary my shopping habits had already begun changing for reasons like I mentioned, lack of money and really just that I just don't need any more right now. For those reasons they've bought about a different approach before I decide to buy clothes. 

For example a couple of weeks ago I spotted a top new in, in Primark one that in the past I wouldn’t have thought twice, before picking it up and taking it straight to the counter but instead of being hasty I decided to leave it. I both couldn’t quite decide if it was nice enough or even really my style. Fast forward a week or so later I spotted it again. At this point, I had a bit of time to kill before catching my train so I decided to try it on. I’d spotted a few things on my way around the shop so told myself to pick up a few pieces that I quite liked the look of and take them into the changing room.
I quickly learnt that they looked better left on the hanger, not because they weren’t nice but because they each didn’t suit me. The top, in fact, looked quite cheap and ill-fitting, it was £6, something that in the past if I’d have already bought I probably wouldn’t have taken back for.
I thought in my head at the time I’m SO glad I tried it on first. The other pieces I took in: some cord trousers, a snakeskin shirt and dress each didn’t suit me or were pieces I just didn’t really need. And I think that’s something that needs to sit in the back of your mind in regards to buying clothing. Do I really need it? And most of the time in my circumstance is I don't. 


I think it was something that Jay also made me aware of a few times when we've shopped previously. I used to be quite an impulsive buyer and found myself picking things that I would get home and have nothing to style it with which then always resulted in my saying 'I have no clothes' when in fact I had and still have a lot of clothes just a lot of pieces that don't don't go together. 
Jay started telling me to picture an outfit or at least 3 outfits in my mind that I could wear with the piece I wanted to buy and if I couldn't it was best to leave it. And for a while, it has worked out. That's not to say that you can't buy a statement piece, or a piece you've had your eye on for a while that doesn't necessarily pair with a lot of things in your wardrobe but it's more about being mindful  to not buy unnecessarily so often, being sustainable is about being more conscious of your actions. 

Another thing I've been a lot more active on recently is Depop both buying and selling, you can check my Depop out here if you wish. Again not an AD but Depop is one that is perfect for creating that process of being able to buy second hand instead of buying from a shop something that you could instead get on there. Often if I'm after a particular thing and I'm trying to save a bit of cash I search for the item on Depop, because not all are old things from peoples wardrobes but perhaps pieces that have been gifted from brands to bloggers that they've worn once and are getting rid of or something that somebody bought and then didn't fit them, in fact, a lot of the stuff is brand new, or barely worn and you can get something for a fraction of the price as a pose to going to a shop and buying the same or a similar thing for more money.
I also know that this week on Depop vintage items tagged #suistanable are picked to be featured on their explore page which both doubles your chances of selling and is equally amazing because you bought vintage in the first place which is a win for the planet, hurrah. 

Turtleneck, Bag and Trainers: Primark
Trousers and Earrings: Bottle Blonde Studio
Again linking this back to something I did touch on before in a previous post whereby I said fast fashion is dying I still believe it's true and as a generation, our generation we have the power to stop things from getting worse than what they already are. I know in this post I've mentioned my habits have changed a lot to do with not having a lot of money right now, its something that I aim to carry through even when I am making more money and have the power to buy more. I've always been a bargain hunter and if I can find a similar item second hand or elsewhere I will try to. Who doesn't love getting things cheaper?? Especially if that means it's a step in the right direction to helping the environment. 
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