Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Slow Fashion

 I just started my morning by reading this article: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/currency/2014/06/why-students-wont-fight-forever-21.html?utm_source=tny&utm_campaign=generalsocial&utm_medium=facebook&mbid=social_facebook 

And I feel a rant coming!

 I was in Forever 21 this past week for the first time in a lot of years. I was floored when I picked up a tank top and it was $1.80. That is insane. I did pick up a couple of items for myself... I won't make it a habit though.
 I probably wont ever shop there again b/c when I think about those clothes being so cheap I think about the workers that are making them, the conditions of the factories, and just how "dirty" the whole "cheap fashion" industry is in general.
 A couple of years ago I challenged myself to only shop handmade, "ethically made" or "made in America clothing", or at second hand stores. I found it is pretty easy to find "Made in USA" at big box stores, you just have to look. I also found that a lot of the clothing that I bought at smaller retailers cost a bit more but I am able to wear it for at least 2 years, most things are still in great condition and will last a few more  years if not longer.
 Forever 21 isn't the only guilty retailer however they are probably the cheapest place to buy fashionable/trendy clothing. I call it disposable clothing. You wear it once and then hopefully donate it to a thrift shop or sell it to a resale store.

 In the industry I am in I feel pressure to keep up with some trends... But I am not a trendy person. I am probably the least trendy person you will ever meet. I've always been a fan of doing my own thing when it came to fashion/dressing/accessorizing. I often wear what is easy and comfortable b/c I don't spend a lot of time on my appearance and I work a lot! I'd rather spend that hour and half that it takes to wash and fix my hair and put on makeup with my husband and dog, or working in our garden, or cooking meals. That is a whole different rant I could go on though... I'll save it for another day!

 In the mean time, I am going to get back on my quest to shop resale, handmade, Made in USA, and ethically made items.  One of my favorite and "go to" shops is Good Things Boutique in Fayetteville. Yes, I sell my jewelry there but this isn't just a plug for that! Jessy does an amazing job stocking her store with quality clothing that will last and hold up to wear and washings. I have also found great "Made in USA" pieces at my local Dillards. Other shops like Plato's Closet or Daisy Exchange or Cheap Thrills (Fayetteville) are great places to find trendier resale items. I don't always have the patience to sift through Salvation Army or other thrift stores but you can find great items at these places too... Even designer duds for cheap!!!

 My challenge to you is to try this out for a month! I would love to hear your feedback and thoughts and shopping secrets. And let me know if you are going to take my challenge on yourself. I would love to check in with you in a month or so! If you don't want to leave a public comment, please email me, brandy@bellavitajewelry.net

Want to read a good book on this topic? Check out Overdressed, The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

Interview with Elizabeth Cline: http://www.npr.org/2013/05/02/180557959/ethical-fashion-is-the-tragedy-in-bangladesh-a-final-straw