#10: Facing My Fashion Favourites
I’ve been in a constant state of trying to clear out my closet. It’s been going on. Forever. I used to keep my friends in the loop, telling them that I’m cleaning my wardrobe and ridding it of the age old garments, and I would never finish. Now whenever I muster the courage to open it, in the hopes that everything won’t come crashing down on me, I somewhat organize a part of it, but to this date, never have I completed this heinous task. I’ve also stopped notifying my friends because each time I don’t finish it, I feel like I’m held more accountable, more the number of people I inform.
The last time I got down to doing this, I discovered clothes which were ten years old and which obviously didn’t fit me anymore (except my violet raincoat, which is snug now), and felt extremely ashamed. Was I a borderline hoarder? These clothes were just sitting there, unused, a lot of people could have benefitted from it all this while. I bundled everything which was in a good enough condition to donate - those which were too small and those which didn’t spark joy, hoping that someone else would like it. Those which were in too poor a state, saw the likes of being used as a rag (which happens in most Indian households). Once, my grandma took my favourite shirt from Japan, riddled with holes, but I didn’t care, I loved that shirt only too much. I’d noticed that it had gone missing, and months later, I found it amidst the rags and you can only imagine the fit I threw that day!
All this made me think of fast fashion, which chooses quantity over quality. Trends change overnight, and so there’s a massive output of clothes everyday. Gross human rights violations are faced by the workers - with ungodly working hours, pathetic workplace environments which are harmful to health even, along with low pay. This industry is also the cause for climate change. From using up alarming amounts of natural resources for production, the increased carbon dioxide levels churned out to the massive tonnes of clothes going to waste and taking over landfills - fast fashion is a monumental problem. This is just me scratching the surface on this topic. To know more about said industry, do read the links below.
We’ve all been patrons of fast fashion at some point in our lives. It’s important to recognize this and make conscious changes towards sustainable fashion. I’m not sure when I sort of adopted this change. Somewhere along the line, I just stopped buying new clothes frequently - only actually shopping for an event sometimes, or restricting myself to just trying them on for the thrill of it and never buying it. I’m not sure why, maybe I’m scared/guilty of adding to the already existing pile, or maybe because I’m a serial outfit repeater - which I am not ashamed of. I have a list of “essentials” according to me, which I need to have, but I still haven’t purchased them, and my fashion choices don’t seem to be crashing and burning - which brings me to the question as to whether I actually need them.
Anyways, at home, I keep recycling a certain set of clothes which give me only too much comfort. I don’t care how faded or tattered they are, or how many holes I can count, I still wear them. Most of the time, you can see me in all black, much to my family’s disapproval. My stash consists of fandom shirts and ones my father bought on his many trips. As for outings with friends, which are a thing of the past sadly, I keep things simple by switching between a few dresses (lazy really) or mixing and matching the same few outfits. One fourth of my clothes are hand-me-downs, from my cousins and my brother, most of my college clothes are stitched. I took inspiration from my cousin and finally got some pants and dungarees stitched with some old material which was lying around. I think a lot before buying something and venture out to stores seeking a very particular piece.
If your mindset is already shifting towards sustainability, that’s great! If you’re still on the fence about it, here’s a few ways you can make that change.
There’s a whole another world full of reloved, preloved and vintage stores on Instagram. Though the majority of it might be slightly on the higher price range, buying from these stores which have second hand clothes is a win for sure. I’ve noticed that they’re all inclusive and one of a kind. The only con is that you won’t be able to try it on as it’s based online. Donating clothes to thrift stores also helps reduce waste contributed by clothes in landfills and it’s basically like a form of recycling happening between strangers - much like that movie, The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, where four friends share a pair of jeans, which is magical I think.
Back to the Basics
A capsule wardrobe is a concept where one only has the essentials - and tries to mix and match pieces to create versatile outfits using the same few items.
If your clothes are a button short, have a few holes and are rough around the edges, you can upcycle them by stitching on funky and fun patterns.
Resources/ References to know more about fast fashion:
- Environmentally Sustainable Fashion: South Asian Edition
- The Next Black - A film about the Future of Clothing
- The clothes we wear | DW Documentary
-The True Cost | Documentary | Clothing Industry | Fashion Market | Capitalism | Modern Slavery
- The Ugly Truth Of Fast Fashion | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
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