Friday, May 23, 2014

Frustrations with Fashion

It's a fact that our society is one that loves to consume. Every year we buy more and more, and the long list of luxury items that directly correlate to our (perceived) social status grows and grows. I'm not here to bash on this, in fact, I am probably a large part of it and a huge offender myself.

This blog started as a fashion blog and I've been slowly attempting to move into the more lifestyle/whatever may tickle my fancy domain. I'm not going to dump on the fashion industry, but I do feel the need to share my frustrations with the state of first world countries, and myself.

We are a society obsessed with consumption. We consume at ridiculous rates, yet produce very little. Its an infectious disease that just creates a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction. It constantly amazes me how back in the day people rarely used/bought more than they could consume for. If you were a farmer, anything that you might need that your crops didn't produce, you would quite literally use the fruits of your labour to trade for. You had to give something up to get something. Today we just get, get, get, but what do we give? What do we contribute to justify how much we expend beyond our means? Not much, if you ask me.

I'm as guilty as anyone. I love fashion, I love pretty things and I absolutely cannot refuse a good deal. Its actually a problem. I have so much stuff, yet time and time again face the age old dilemma of "I have nothing to wear'. Scoring a fantastic deal is a great feeling. You feel satisfied, like you somehow "won" against the system, and to boot you have a pretty new thing you didn't break the bank for. It all sounds rather lovely, right? Well it is, temporarily.

This sentiment of contentment is followed by one of contempt, for me at least. At least once a month I have a complete freak out and look at my closet with utter disgust. When experiencing one of said freak outs I just can't help but be disgusted with how much I actually own. How much stuff I have in my closet that I barely ever wear. Things with the tag still on them. The 10+ little black dresses I own. And so on, and so forth. These freak outs cause me to go through a complete closet purge. When this feeling fades, the pack rat in me surfaces and I cling on to unnecessary items that "I might just need one day". It usually takes about 3 separate attempts to actually make a dent in my daunting closet.

So, where am I going with all this? I've realized that it's a tad overzealous and unrealistic to passionately claim during my fits of frustration that "I'll never shop again!" Instead, I've decided to implement a few of my own rules to live (and shop) by, that will hopefully lead to a more balanced closet and lifestyle.

2 for 1
For every new item I buy, I have to head into my closet and get rid of two. This will really make me think twice when making purchases. 

Donate, Donate, Donate
I don't actually throw any items of clothing in the trash. One woman's trash is another's treasure, so everything that leaves my closet makes it's way into someone else's. 

Swap Shopping 
Luckily, swap parties are all the rage these days. Hosting or attending a swap party is a great way of not only getting rid of some of your old clothes, but getting some "new" stuff for yourself as well. 
P.S if you are in the Ottawa area check out this Spring Swap Shop event on Sunday, June 1st! I'll be there with a good chunk of my closet! 

Quality over Quantity 
When making new purchases, stick with quality over quantity. Quality items will a) last longer and b) be more expensive, therefore making you think twice before purchasing. 

Be Aware
Find out where your clothes are coming from. Try supporting local brands or vintage/consignment shopping instead of the cookie cutter stores that are all made in poverty ridden countries. It's a little daunting and frustrating, I know. One person's shopping habits will not change the world, but I'm a huge believer in the fact that every little bit counts, and the less we buy from those types of commercial giants, the less they will eventually have to produce. Not only that, you'll feel better about your lifestyle choices and chances are most of your pieces will be more unique and come with a story. 

What are your tips and tricks for remaining fashionable and sustainable in a society obsessed with consumption and the latest trends?