Easy Ways to Make Mindful Purchases
Some of you may have seen on my SnapChat or Instagram that I had the pleasure of interviewing Jyssica Yelas of the Style Opal this past week for a podcast episode to air on Tuesday (7/26). You'll hear in the episode, but we touch on fast fashion and a few tips to start making more sustainable and mindful purchases. Don't know about fast fashion? I cover my stance on it in this post from a few months ago (but I can give you a nutshell version from that post):
Debuting in June 2015, The True Cost revealed the effects of the textile industry through the eyes (and battered hands) of factory workers predominately in Bangladesh and Cambodia, the economical struggles they endure, the beatings they face, and the long-term effects of constantly working with chemical and pesticide-laden fabrics. According to the documentary, 1 in 6 people globally are somehow involved in the international textile industry, which is a major shift from 1960, where 95% of our country's clothing was made right here in the US. Nowadays in our consumer economy, 80 million brand new garments are believed to be purchased annually; adversely, 80 pounds of clothing is believed to be thrown away per person each year.
Honestly, I was so horrified, I instantly went to my closet and began reducing my fast fashion purchases. Unfortunately, there are a few struggles to making ethical fashion purchases, and not everyone will support your decision to do so. Not only this, but you may actually feel defensive and judgmental to others who want to make ethical fashion choices. This is because you're human, not evil!
So many celebrities and public figures have spoken out against fast fashion, and encouraged more mindful shopping. Emma Watson, one of my serious girl crushes, promoted the campaign of #30wears this past spring after a sporting a stunning recycled red-carpet gown. Obviously, it's unrealistic to think we can all wear stunning red-carpet gowns everyday to work, but the #30wears campaign basically exists to prompt you to ask yourself if you'll wear a garment, accessory, etc., at least 30 times. Can you? Will the fabric fall apart or begin to bead up on the surface? Do you love it enough, or will it just stay at the back of your closet after you wear it to your cousin's wedding? If your answer is yes, yes of course I will wear this skater dress a minimum of 30 times, then you can consider that a mindful and sustainable purchase for your lifestyle!
Another way to promote more mindful consumerism is by purchasing from small businesses, fair trade shops, and companies who promote using recyclable fibers and materials. I try as often as possible to do this, and have collaborated with a truly inspiring brand today to share a very cool set of accessories!
DoubleHighFive is a company based in Brooklyn, making sustainable, stackable bracelets made from recycled flip-flops! According to their site:
doublehighfive bracelets are made by hand from recycled rubber flip flops by women in Mopti, Mali. our sourcing partner is fair trade certified and has been doing business with local African artisans for 12 years. discarded flip flops are melted down and made into these washable, wearable bracelets. the women producing these bracelets are paid a fair price, providing a means of support for those involved.
Hopefully, you've found this information helpful, and you're feeling inspired to look deeper into how small businesses help the economy, or maybe this has given you the final push you needed to start up your own company!