Sharing Wardrobes — Cutting Down on Consumptive Fashion

As outlined in  Love is Simple. (the ‘Sharing Economy’), our global capitalist system based on endless growth and consumption is quite literally turning all of our global resources into a monstrous municipal waste problem.  Those resources are being bought up at unequal rates around the world –by the rich, not the poor– and the waste generated is distributed unevenly as well –mainly dumped in landfills that surround and pollute poorer neighbourhoods or regions around the globe.fdaf

The fashion industry is a huge contributor to global ecological footprints, as people buy, buy, buy whatever is hot and new, and waste, waste, waste whatever they think is slightly dated, worn, or just not of their taste anymore.  It is a fickle and needless cycle of consumption and waste, especially given the fact that clothes are just meant to protect our bodies from the elements (giant sacs could do that).  The industry’s fancy branding has made ‘style’ something that people care about more than serious issues like the land degradation or habitat destruction associated with consume-and-waste commodity chains.  Clothing, as we imagine it, now says something about our identities, as if the materials around us have anything of value to say about what is our value as people.

Fashion-Ad-1-Midtown

What if we bucked the unsustainable and unequal consume-and-waste cycle and made sharingre-using and refurbishing useful products part of our ‘identities’, as proud stewards of the Earth and our fellow human beings?  What if we could take pride in knowing that we were giving materials second lives, being as efficient as possible, keeping money in our pockets instead of in those of the huge fashion companies, and keeping goods in circulation instead of the landfill?il_fullxfull62212866

This post on Grist.org speaks very well to this issue, and offers 5 good ‘tricks’ for building collective wardrobes that don’t follow the ludicrous Big Fashion model.  These include 1. leasing clothing, 2. swapping clothing, 3. sharing skills, 4. sharing designs, and 5. good old-fashioned vintage wear.  Check out the post here: http://grist.org/living/there-must-be-50-ways-to-share-your-sweater/

So, next time you have the urge to go “therapy shopping” (…pardon?), think about how much that will really help you versus the networks of labour and resources that had to go into making and shipping those clothes to the store.  Think about who likely performed that labour, as it is more often than not performed by poor adolescents in some faraway factory.  Instead of throwing your cash around the mall, set up a clothing swap with your friends, or visit a ‘previously-loved’ clothing store and make a trade.  Savvy vintage shopping, leasing, or swapping fashion wear should be the new chic.

Best-Vintage-Clothing-Shops-in-Calgary

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One Comment on “Sharing Wardrobes — Cutting Down on Consumptive Fashion”

  1. igakoz11 March 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    I enjoyed reading this. amazing.
    Check out my blog as there are many giveaways going on @ http://mylittleclosetblog.wordpress.com/
    & ‘like’ my page on facebook to get the latest updates about giveaways, fashion, etc
    @ My Little Closet Blog
    (if you have a facebook page let me know so I can ‘like’ it 🙂

    xoxo

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