Holiday gift giving is a beautiful thing. It brings joy and love into families around the world, and is a beloved tradition that November and December bring each year. Gift giving is something that also changes as we grow older.
I am sure Gen Z can relate to the fond memories of excitement and thrill as we opened our most desired toys as children – and the opposite reaction anytime we received clothing. Now, as we grow older, much of Gen Z has gravitated towards holiday wishlists that consist of mostly fashion and beauty items.
I am one of those people.
Every year since I was about 15, most of the things I had wished for during the holiday season were products that had to do with clothes, makeup, decor and jewelry. This is obviously not the case for everyone, given that people have various interests.
Although, as I spoke to my friends through the years, this seems to be a consistent trend. While it is compelling to ask for trend-influenced clothing and various styles of the same things we already have, in recent years it has shown to create chaos in my life. I am sure this remains the same with others.
Our society has developed a consumption addiction. Worst of all, it has become widely accepted.
Clothing waste and production has accounted for an astonishing amount of pollution. The fashion industry’s contribution to our climate disruption is undeniable. This only worsens during a season of giving, where a large part of our generation participates in overconsumption of clothing.
This is not to say that I do not contribute – and it’s easy to do this, especially coming from someone who loves beauty and clothes. Many of us do this unintentionally. Yet, once you take a good look at your wardrobe with an honest mind, you can quickly separate a quick social-media-driven trend against something that is timeless and useful.
This is where progress can begin. It is notable that we fashion lovers will not solely have a closet of staple pieces. Everyone still wants fun items that you only wear once in a blue moon, those items are what can make an outfit special.
Yet, reeling ourselves in and noticing when something has been sitting in our closet with a tag on it for months is vital to being responsible consumers. Not only is it about buying less items and focusing on pieces that will actually be worn, but being conscious of your consumption also means being mindful of where you consume.
I used to fall into the unspeakable Shein traps (I’m sure we’ve all been there). Sites like Zaful and Shein who fool customers with unrealistic images and low prices lead to haul orders of clothing that you most likely won’t wear.
I will admit, sometimes there are some successful purchases from these companies. However, I began to ask myself if it is necessary.
Once I realized how many items from those orders were never worn and recognized that the small prices do add up, I stopped shopping at those stores. It is so much more rewarding to find pieces in person that you know you love, fit into, and are of good quality.
I leave you with a challenge.
If you are anything like me and asked for beauty-related gifts this holiday season, go through your closet first.
Donating clothes or selling to places such as Plato’s closet or Depop is such a rewarding feeling. Plus, if you sell some of your clothes, you can have more spending cash for giving gifts.
Take it from me, I did it today.
It may be overwhelming at times, but there is no feeling like cleaning out your wardrobe, getting rid of unnecessary things and feeling accomplished. You might even earn some cash along the way.