Why we should change our shopping habits

Fashion

I’ve been offline for too long! The past months and weeks have been packed with many great things such as our move to our new appartment and a couple of family vacations. I’m back and there’s so much to come! I have many new stories for you lined up and I can’t wait to put them out. Starting off with a little bit about fashion.

It has been a year and 5 months and 2 days without Zara for me.

I know it so precisely because my dear friend Mina and I have sworn each other to not buy any clothes from Zara in 2017. This was our New Years resolution.

We came to the idea after we have watched Leonardo Di Caprio’s “Before the Flood”. We started talking about our environment, about how seasons have changed in the places we’ve grown up, about how wasteful our lifestyles are in different ways. We also talked about the solutions different governments and companies are putting in place, such as reducing the use of plastic bags, sourcing environmentally and recycling materials.
This brought us to the conclusion that we also wanted to do something. At that time we were both very much into Zara. Our closets were about 60-80% Zara clothes, new clothes coming in on a frequent basis which led us to wonder whether this company was environmentally friendly? Loooking into how Zara and others are producing and selling, we found out that what we actually do with our shopping behavior is to support these brands, even though ethically and environmentally they don’t stand for values we believe in.

The concepts of a fast fashion retailer are simple:
Produce huge quantities, in low quality to sell for high margins on a frequent basis.

All fast fashion retailers have in common that they are producing in high quantities, which is not a bad thing as such. They are producing their clothes from low quality fabrics, often treated with highly unhealthy chemicals.
What makes this whole business concept work in a very lucrative way, is in fact that they are offering incredibly low prices while still achieving high margins. In order to reach those margins, their products have to be produced as cheap as possible. One way to achieve that, is to produce in bulk. At some point though, saturation is reached, which means that quantities are not significantly impacting the production costs. So companies get creative and start lowering costs in other parts of the business as for example wages for workers, security investments and quality materials.

For the workers it means to be paid poorly and to work in an unsafe environment. Overall it means, that the environment is suffering because during the production toxic materials are used and released to our planet from which nature can hardly recover.

In the end I believe:

  • the industry should not be allowed to exploit people and pollute our planet
  • governments should put laws in order to end this issue
  • we as individuals have a say in all o this. As a customer I decide with every coin I invest everyday whether or not a business is doing well.

I hope that this will inspire people to do so too.

Therefore I think we should stop investing our money to the bad guys and start looking for alternatives from the good ones and support them.

You can check out the monthly eco-friendly fashion label posts on this blog to get started.

Photo credit: Lauren Roberts

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