As more shops begin to open and life starts to become a bit more normal, the question of “what will I wear?” is creeping back into our lives. The answer, of course, is rarely found in the wardrobes in front of us (though the doors may struggle to close) and this leads to the ultimate shopping trip – either online or back out in the stores.
Queues have already been building around some of the most popular student clothing retailers; including Zara, Urban Outfitters, Bershka, and all have a number of things in common… (fairly) student-budget friendly, trendy, convenient and unethical.
Lockdown may have made you more aware of the fragility of the lives we lead before, and as we go back to “normal” you may be questioning how you want this to look for you. So, here are some things you may wish to consider as you emerge back into the world of beer gardens and bars…
There are some simple things which you can consider before you go out shopping or make a purchase, namely:
Do I already own something like this?
Do I have something to wear with it? (Or will I need to buy a whole new set of clothes to match?)
How many times will I wear this? (What number do you think warrants buying it?)
Take a moment to think about any other questions you might ask yourself before buying new things.
There are things you can do instead of shopping for more clothes, such as:
Re-wearing – take a fresh look at your current wardrobe and see if you really have “nothing to wear” and get out of that mindset of “but people have already seen me in this before” …
Upcycling – spice up something you already own: crop it, embroider it, paint it, get creative!
Sharing – borrow stuff from a friend and offer to share your clothes with them too.
More ethical options…
Shop second hand and charity shops
Shop small businesses
Shop ethical brands
…The app “Good on You” is available for free on the app store and is a great way to see if the brands you love are ethical and sustainable as well as helping you to find places that are doing better!
Fashion revolution week in April reminded us of the human and environmental impact of the fashion industry. This year marked 8 years since the Rana Plaza disaster where a factory building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed. This tragedy took the lives of 1,138 people, mostly young women, and injured about 2,500, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. Sadly, it is clear that not enough has changed, the people who make our clothes are still unsafe at work. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
As we come out of lockdown, we have the opportunity to adapt to a new normal and now is a better chance than any to consider your impact and protect the world we have missed.
No one should be denied the fundamental right to a safe working environment, as consumers we have the power to make this change.
Go to Fashion Revolution and take action: www.fashionrevolution.org/about/get-involved/
Get involved with the Clean Clothes Campaign: https://cleanclothes.org/action
Check out Good on You and download their app: https://goodonyou.eco