This is going to be an exceptionally quick post but I have a few things to say on the direction of my fashion blog.
As you can probably guess, I don’t put a lot of time and effort into this site – certainly not as much as most other people do with their blogs. This is not an income for me, I admittedly don’t take it that seriously and all in all, it’s pretty much just a side hobby. Nonetheless, I have been reluctant to post anything here and there is a very strong reason for that. I’ll be brief: I feel uncomfortable promoting unnecessary consumption.
When I started this blog, I started spending more on clothes. I felt this increasing need to constantly have new looks on my Instagram because heaven forbid you post a picture of the same outfit more than three times. That last remark was a light-hearted joke/dig at fashion blogging but to those who are unaware, most tips that are out there on how to grow your Instagram will say that you should aim to post once a day, every day. Shockingly, that mentality indirectly tells those choosing to start blogs that they should buy more clothes.
That mentality went beyond my Instagram/blog and played a role in my relationship with fashion and shopping across the board. Without being aware of what I was doing, I felt that every time I travelled, I needed to buy an onslaught of new outfits because, for some reason, once I had posted a look on Instagram or this blog, it felt used and irrelevant. It sounds stupid (I know) but to place that logic into a more relatable context, a lot of us will buy a new dress for an occasion then never wear it again. It’s the same sort of thing but on a larger scale.
Unsurprisingly, a lot of fashion bloggers struggle to find new outfits because of this increasing need to push out content. So, most of us turn to fast fashion (H&M, Zara and other Intidex brands, Forever 21, Primark, Boohoo, Missguided, Pretty Little Thing, Topshop, ASOS, Shein, Zaful, Romwe etc. etc.). I think a lot of us, fashion bloggers or not, fall into the trap of buying low-quality garments with very little longevity (trend pieces) only to sell, throw away or donate them within the next few years. We’re buying far more clothes than we need, wearing them less and collectively creating an alarming amount of textile waste.
For the past few weeks, I have been asking myself a lot of unsettling questions about the fashion industry. Since the age of 13, I have been turning to fashion blogs and sites like Lookbook.nu for inspiration on what I should be buying next. Without consciously realising, I have always been obsessed with increasing the size of my wardrobe with very little consideration for the impact that kind of consumption has not only on our planet but on garment workers. If you’re rolling your eyes and thinking that I was naive, well, sadly I wasn’t – I was willingly ignorant. We all know that sweatshops exist and regrettably, like anyone who buys fast fashion, I ignored it.
Fast forward to this evening and I have decided that I can’t go on being irresponsible. One of the most disgusting aspects of all of this is that I studied Textiles for 7 years and have a strong knowledge of the industry – I knew better and I did nothing about it.
Considerations For the Future
A few days ago, I considered deleting my blog. This was for a variety of reasons but the guilt of supporting fast fashion being one of them. I have, however, decided to move forward and try to use this blog to prove that you can build a responsible, ethically-conscious wardrobe while still being fashionable and somewhat on-trend. That’s a task, I am aware but that’s the ultimate goal from now on. I haven’t firmly decided anything yet but here is the general idea of what I am considering doing:
- Stop buying fast fashion – duh. This is going to be a big lifestyle change but since the more that I think about fast fashion, the more repulsed I am by it, I doubt it will be as taxing as it initially seems.
- Gift clothes that I no longer want to my friends and family or sell them on Depop. Donating clothes is a bit of a grey area as the majority of the clothes we donate end up in landfills. As of yet, I am not sure how I am going to go about this but I need to find a way to reduce my wardrobe without adding to the problem.
- No longer disclose where my clothes are from unless they are a brand with ethical integrity. I own a lot of fast fashion and I do like a lot of the pieces I already own. I intend to keep most of them but I have decided not to promote the brand when I wear these pieces on my blog. The idea is that the looks I will share will focus on showcasing styles/working with what you already own rather than encouraging going out and buying dozens of trend pieces.
- Promote environmentally-conscious brands that pay their workers fairly. I will only share links to brands with transparent and ethical supply chains.
The reality of fast fashion is undoubtedly a hard pill to swallow. Activism in this area isn’t normally well-received because it can be construed as an attempt to aggressively cast blame on consumers for choices we feel we have no direct control over. Most people don’t like to be told the reality of the industry and others feel like those telling them to change their practices have a superiority complex. It’s the same thing with vegans. I used to be a vegan (for 3 years lol) and a lot of meat-eaters would constantly try to defend their decision to me even though I never asked. One thing I noticed is that they did so in a way that made me feel like I had somehow portrayed myself as better than them. A lot of people hated that I was a vegan even though it was a personal decision and I never tried to sway anyone.
My point is, I am going to be very careful how I word this blog so that I don’t make anyone feel like I have a superiority complex for my decision to abandon fast fashion. I merely want to use this space to try and prove that an alternative is out there and eventually be able to offer a guide to those wanting to follow suit.
There is so much more I have to say on this topic. Rest assured, that is coming. I am currently moving internationally and don’t have the time to write the lengthy post that I had in mind. I want to talk in great detail about the consequences of buying fast fashion but it’s 1am and I am falling asleep.
Here are a few links I strongly recommend looking at in the meantime:
- The True Cost: https://www.netflix.com/title/80045667
- How to Quit Fast Fashion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_I6W9PNd_E
- Fast Fashion is Disgusting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ox72V4DM2w
- Clothing Waste Problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elU32XNj8PM&t
- Last Week Tonight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdLf4fihP78
- Why I Cut Out Fast Fashion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTEh6f4HkJA
- H&M is Lying to You: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jAgq74QCWpA&t
- TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPM9lhackHw
- Which Brands are Fast Fashion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG_6yUtLZ4k
Photos by @karyaschanilec.photography