Fashion has always been a part of my identity. I always used fashion as a way to stand out which meant I wouldn’t be caught dead blending in with UGGs or an Abercrombie T-shirt. I had such a unique way of dressing that I’d overhear girls making snide comments like, ‘Why does she dress like that?’ when I wasn’t wearing the Juicy Couture tracksuit uniform that year 10 was so wild about.
I lived for weekend trips to the mall, and when online shopping came onto the scene I was all over it. I even worked in retail for a little, pushing products and fashion advice on blissful buyers.
But this deep-rooted love of fashion has become problematic.
I shop a lot - I shop for occasions, when I’m stressed, when I’m bored, or when I see something that I ‘can’t live without’.
And as a result, my closet is full of skeletons.
Recently, however, I’ve begun to learn where those skeletons come from - and most of them have a pretty troubling backstory. To put it quite simply, the fashion industry wreaks havoc on the environment and regularly exploits the basic human rights of garment workers.
So, knowing what I now know about the fashion industry, you’d think it would be easy for me to blow past these stores without flinching.
And yet, I still regularly find myself ‘popping by’ seasonal sales and perusing fast fashion websites as I watch TV. On the worst of days, I’ll blackout and come-to at a cash register as I swipe my credit card over a pile of new clothes that I probably don’t need.
But WHY? Why, why, why do I find it so hard to put the credit card down and walk away?
Turns out, quitting a deep-rooted hobby is quite difficult. Because that’s what shopping is for me (and maybe, you too?) - it’s a hobby. But a habit that fuels slave labor and climate change is a pretty shitty hobby.
So that’s what this blog is about: My journey of unpicking and reprogramming my brain so that I can shop with a conscience.
I love fashion, but my relationship with it needs to change. To make that change, I’ll explore what triggers me to shop, uncover why shopping makes me so happy, research ethical fashion brands, share tips on how to create a more ethical wardrobe and, maybe, find a new hobby.
I hope my journey helps you reshape your relationship with fashion.