What does “aging gracefully” mean to you? Does it mean “not letting yourself go”? Does it mean “maintaining a certain level of “hotness” in middle-age”? Does it mean finally becoming comfortable in your own skin”? I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and the thing that is most important to me right now is “climbing out from under the rock I’ve been living under ” and being more aware about the choices I make and how it affects all of us. Case and point: THE FASHION INDUSTRY!!!!!
I’ve watched a few great documentaries recently that just blew my mind and this one is right at the top, mainly because I’ve worked as a retail employee for many years for big corporate retailers such as GAP and Ann Taylor INC. I’m also a girl who loves clothes (wearing them) and studying the history of clothes. I watched this documentary “The True Cost” (available on Netflix) and I felt angry, sad, but mostly just damn ignorant! Of course when you think about “sweatshops” you think about places like WALMART, right?! We put out of our minds that some of the places we might like to shop the most might also be using sweatshops in the worst possible way. But, hey…ignorance is bliss! But for how long can that be the case?
I found out about this documentary by another blogger, Jana of “Thismomsgonnasnap.com”. She promotes the seasonal wardrobe capsule which really points out that you don’t have to have a trillion of the newest fashion items to be fashionable…rather, less is really more. Another great blogger that promotes this lifestyle change is Caroline on “Un-fancy.com“. I’ve been trying to make a change in my purchasing habits…trying to end up with fewer pieces that I love and getting rid of the ho, hum items I bought because they were a good deal. But by watching “The True Cost”, I’ve learned that I need to change much more.
I’m now in the process of investigating the where’s and how’s of my favorite retailers and trying to find those that produce clothing in a responsibly sustainable way where the people who manufacture the clothes make a sustainable wage where they live. Also, I’m looking for those who produce clothing with the least pollutants. Did you know that the fashion industry is the 2nd biggest pollutant to our planet next to the big oil companies? Sobering, huh?
In a perfect world, I wish there would be more textile manufacturing here in the good old U.S.A. One of my favorites retailers, Madewell, for instance, DESIGN their jeans in L.A. Great, right? But hold on…they produce them in CHINA! Hmmm….need to do some more investigating…
Here is a list of some retailers that produce clothing responsibly:
Zady.com (clothing made from organic cotton)
Splendid.com (this line is also sold at Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack)
Three Dots (produced in the U.S.)
New Balance Shoes (produced in the U.S.)
Kate Spade (some items produced in the U.S.)
This is just to get you started. Some of these lines might be thought as a little pricey. Well, they are compared the to fast fashion companies such as H&M, Forever 21, Zara. But really, how many articles of clothing do we really need? I would rather pay and save up for something of quality that was produced responsibly that I love, instead of something that’s cheap and trendy that won’t last a season or a couple of washes. I’m thinking more of the French aesthetic. You know…the chic French women who have few pieces in their closet, but they always manage to look fabulous because what they have is quality.
Right now, I couldn’t be happier with the trend of consignment and re-sale franchises and stores and I work for one of the best!!!!
The above are a Louis Vuitton clutch and a Kate Spade dress!
The above is my personal aquisition…a little Kate Spade beauty!
If there is a fashion line that you love and it’s one that is a sweatshop brand, buy re-sale. Our inventory changes everyday because we buy from the community everyday. We keep our standards high for our customers! Re-sale is a great place to start when you are looking for something specific before you hit the mall! Also, when you sell your items to a re-sale or consignment store or buy from them, you are keeping clothing out of the land fills. Did you know that clothing in a land fill will stay there for about 200 years with some of the chemicals from the dyes seeping into ground water?
With all the insurmountable problems in this world that we can’t change…you know what? Let’s not let our blatant materialism be at someone else’s peril. We CAN change and fix this…one choice at a time. We can do better. The choice is really yours and mine. Let’s choose wisely.