1. DISCOUNT STORES AREN’T REAL | Sorry to break it to you like this (usually I would at least bring tea and stuff), but outlet malls claiming to sell you designer products are really just selling you lower-quality products—which were most likely not even produced at the same factories as the originals.
“The jig is up: Big brands like J. Crew, Gap, and Saks’ Off 5th aren’t selling you discounted or out of season merchandise at their outlet locations. You’re just buying lower quality cardigans and patterned pants” (they just have the logos to make you think you're getting a "deal").
Why is this relevant? Now you really can’t justify all those extra trips to the outlet mall/TJMaxx/etc to buy “bargains.” You’re buying low-quality products and exploited labor. (How else could the prices be so cheap?) (Oh and P.S. I’m also not letting you justify shopping at the original J.Crew or GAP store, either—they are on our Boycott List! I’m letting you justify limiting your spending in general ;) )
2. FAST FASHION ISN’T MADE TO LAST LONG | Alright this one might come as a huge shocker to you, (are you ready for this?) but fast-fashion brands really like this thing called profits. Like, a lot. So much so that they purposely use the cheapest production method (read: exploitation + unfair wages, poor quality materials, etc) in order to a) be able to convince you to buy lots of things (omg! so cheap!! *grabs 10*) and b) need to continually buy lots of things. The faster your clothes fall apart, the faster you’re going to want a replacement. Or 10. The solution? Think quality over quantity. Adopt a minimalist wardrobe.
3. WHAT YOU’RE WEARING IS FILLED WITH LEAD | Okay a bit dramatic (blame the Persian in me). I should add a “probably” in there. In any regard, the facts still stand: the Center for Environmental Health declares that many popular house-hold fast-fashion brands such as Forever21 and Charlotte Russe continue to produce products in mass that fail to meet their safety standards for lead p.p.m. (which is already generously high). This is particularly important for women who are planning on giving birth, as lead likes to store itself in our bones and, during pregnancy, come out to play with our fetus, which could be potentially harmful. Lead concentration also seems to be higher in bright, shiny products. (Sort of explains Dory’s forgetfulness in Finding Nemo, doesn’t it?)
4. HUMANS (& THE ENVIRONMENT) WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING | There are still millions of slaves working behind the scenes throughout the world—in fact, according to Slaveryfootprint.org, today we have more slaves than we’ve ever had at any other point in time in history! So that’s, like insane. We can thank the fashion industry for playing its part in keeping slavery alive and well. And to be frank, we can thank ourselves too. We are so disconnected with the production process, it’s hard to fathom that hundreds of humans are behind every piece of clothing that we see. Most of which are living in unbearable living conditions—and many others are living but not alive. But we need to continually strive to remind ourselves and our friends and family of this. Boycotting brands and limiting our consumption is incredibly important. Now more than ever.
5. CLOTHES DON’T DISAPPEAR WHEN YOU THROW THEM OUT | Okay you probably knew this one. But the way that we act makes it seem like we forget that clothes, when out of sight, aren’t out of existence. According to The Atlantic, on average, Americans throw away 10.5 million tons of clothing every. single year. Can’t we just think about this for a minute? That is a ton. No, actually 10.5 million tons, to be precise. And guess what? Thanks to our current uber-capitalist society, we have become addicted to consuming and therefore this number is only rising. Clothes don’t disappear. Remember that next time you go shopping.
Frustrated? Do something about it. Boycott. Consume less. Educate yourself and others. Convert your closet to a minimal wardrobe. Limiting your spending in a capitalist society is a revolutionary act in itself.
The fact that you’re reading this right now means that you at least sort of give a damn (or just like visiting my site and making me happy (thanks!)) in which case, change really starts with you. If you don’t take charge of your consumption then who will? Next time you are thinking about heading out for a shopping trip, keep these 5 things in mind~
P.S. If you are missing the more regular posting and say down with Slow Blogging (too bad because I love it) you can join me in my research of the Iranian fashion scene on my Instagram! (@hodakatebi)
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original image via Simon Freund