I finally made it over to my favorite clothing store this weekend, eager to spend the gift certificate that I had been holding onto for so many months. Visions of beautiful new skirts and sweaters danced in my head, and as I walked into the cool, overly air conditioned store my heart started to beat faster.
Then, something unexpected happened… I walked out empty handed… three separate times! The first trip to the now decidedly former favorite store I spent an hour trying on clothes, with every thing ended up in a colorful heap on the fitting room floor. It wasn’t that I couldn’t find anything that fit, it was just, well, I already had that sweater… in every single color of the rainbow. And, those dress pants – well, they are nice, but they are really cheaply made, and, might I add, manufactured halfway around the world. And, that skirt – it’s beautiful, but I could already tell that the styling was a bit dated and I wouldn’t want to wear it next season. The first time I walked out of the store I thought it was a fluke, and when later on in the weekend I found myself near a different location of the same outlet chain, I decided to try my luck again with a new store – and ended up with the same result.
I realized that even thought the dozens of brightly colored cardigans and sweaters lined up so neatly on the shelves were tantalizing, and indeed I had money to burn in my pocket… I simply didn’t need a repeat of exactly what was already folded in my dresser drawers. And even though I hadn’t purchased any new clothes for a few seasons, everything that I own fits fine and is still wearable. How many of the brand new skirts lined up in a row were destined for customer’s garbage bins? How many miles did these t-shirts travel to end up hanging in the back of someone’s closet? A lesson that I learned last February really hit home: “Don’t own anything you don’t love, or that you don’t need… or both.”
I walked out empty handed once again, but I’m now OK with the choice not to purchase anything, since I realized that my sense of style has evolved over the years to become more sustainable and more environmentally friendly. Not only did I realize that I am not a cookie cutter image of the millions of other women wearing the same skirt that was in my hand, I realized that I had the choice to spend my money elsewhere, and I had the choice to support a company that purchases sustainable fabrics and practices environmentally friendly business decisions.
I am curious – has this ever happened to you? How has your sense of style evolved? Do you find yourself making more environmentally friendly choices in your every day life? Do you have any eco-friendly clothing lines that you adore and want to share with us? How do you preserve your clothes so you can wear them for multiple seasons? Drop us a comment or post a message on our facebook page and let us know!
I must say, I try to keep a “green” mind about my day to day life, yet it’s never occurred to me to think this way as I shop! I will try to do this more though because you have a point! I suppose food and clothes are similar. Most of them are made halfway around in the world in harsh conditions with not much money going to the production, instead to the supplier. Nice post!
I love this post! and I have had the same feeling when shopping, even when I REALLY want to own the pretty clothes in question…I choose to eat foods that were grown sustainably, so why am I buying clothes that were made in a way that is unkind and unjust?
Fashion and environmentalism is an interesting topic. I think you’re right; it’s up to consumers to ‘Buy Smart’ in addition to purchasing environmentally sustainable products. We should determine if we need, not just want something, well before we ever make the choice to purchase eco-friendly products. Limiting our consumption of goods and resources will go a long way to help increase our quality of life and reduce our impact on the environment. Good topic!