It’s Complicated

A few years ago, I gave up on New Year’s resolutions. Resolute in the fact that they are hard to keep and anyway, I’m the kind of character who’s always making some sort of self-improving promise to myself on a regular basis. Not drinking alcohol for 21 days, juicing daily during the month of May, meditating regularly and other such goals that may take my (somewhat flighty) fancy. In fact, each day for me resonates with a kind of ‘must do better’ voice in my head. It’s part of my nature and honestly I can no longer extricate it from my core personality. Plus I’ve learned to quell it’s sometimes negative effects and put the thoughts to good, productive use, all while counterbalancing it with a ‘this will just have to do’ mantra. It seems to be working…

This year however, with regards to New Year’s resolutions, things are different. Life has changed for me in a really positive way and much of this is down to me starting the blog. It’s given me fulfilment, a delicious freedom to express myself and the all important space to be creative..all those things that make me (and most people) OH SO HAPPY.. I’ve learned a hell of a lot along the way already, which was the whole point really. Plus I have so much more to learn and improve upon. I’m so grateful for my subscribers, Insta and Facebook followers and feel privileged and flattered that people would follow me in expressing my passion for fashion, style and all things lovely. Which brings me to my point. I’ve experimented a lot with new clothes these past months and I’ve loved every minute. Many of the new purchases I’ve kept and some I’ve returned (wearing only once to try them on) with the realisation that I have plenty of nice clothes already and that there aren’t enough opportunities in a year for me to wear a new velvet devore wrap dress, for example.

Part of this attitude is my newfound knowledge on the website Eco Cult that the fashion and textiles industry is the FIFTH most polluting industry on the planet (according to a report conducted by the Boston Consulting Group building on data from the Sustainable Apparel’s Coalition Higg Index), based on global greenhouse gas emissions. There’s been much in the media lately about this and new initiatives by the great and the good of the fashion world to change things. I’m being honest when I say I’ve always been interested in ecology and being good to our environment and our planet. I mean who the heck in their right mind wouldn’t, especially as the facts are there for all to plainly see? I used to be evangelical about it as a teen and young woman. But I grew up and mellowed. Now I do my small bit. I recycle everything including clothes and toys, I try and use eco friendly cleaning products where possible, I buy organic, local, free range and seasonal where I can, I have a Hybrid car etc etc. And with regards to fashion, I try to buy quality over quantity and avoid the cheap, pile ’em high clothing stores. I want stuff that lasts. Period. But the true dichotomy for me and new found GUILT lies in the fact that I buy what I deem to be good quality mid ranged clothing from big gun chains that have a high turnover of ‘drops’ each month in-store. For me this begs the questions ‘what am I buying into?’ What kind of fast economy am I inadvertently fuelling (where people lower down the manufacturing chain get a raw deal in many cases)? And finally, what is this lust for the ‘new’ really doing to our planet? I don’t have all the answers, but I’ve a fair idea based on the information that’s already out there.

 

The Fast & The Furious

Fashion is a complex business. It involves long and varied global supply chains of raw materials, textile manufacturing and production. Then there’s the dyeing, clothing construction, shipping and retail. Not to mention the actual usage and then disposal of a garment. All of the above stages often involve water consumption, energy usage in the form of fossil fuels, toxic dyes, pesticides and chemicals usage. Finally there’s the mammoth amount of waste in landfill from unwanted and discarded clothing.

I’m relatively new to blogging, so I know there was a certain drive and perceived expectation to present new, fresh looks to my followers that spurred me onto the aforementioned Sashdujour fashion spree. Plus I WANTED to experiment and try new things. I don’t regret it and a big consolation for me is that I NEVER throw clothes away unless I really have to and always give them to charity or recycle them. I’ve items of clothing that are at least 15 years old from designers, small labels and High Street chains that have stood the test of time both in looks and in quality. In fact, my mother just gave me her stunning 1980s Planet checked coat with a leather collar that looks box fresh and so NOW. So I’m feeling pretty smug in that respect.

Therefore, based on my new found knowledge and observations on all of the above, my ‘Lucky Number 7’ New Year’s Fashion Resolutions will now involve the following:

  1. In 2018 I will predominantly wear and make use of what is already in my wardrobe – of which there is lots, in fact it’s a veritable horn of plenty. It will be fun and creative to mix and match and the challenge will be in making something new out of what I already have. Done!
  2. I will buy less to NO polyester and nylon garments which are made from petrochemicals and aren’t biodegradable. They are by their very nature unsustainable. I recently learned that nylon also emits nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas during its manufacturing process. Sadly, microfibres from these fabrics once we wash them domestically are also causing havoc in our oceans and waterways… According to US ecologists, almost 2000 individiual fibres will come off a garment made of nylon or polyester and go down the drain from a domestic washing machine. Anyway I have PLENTY of clothing like that in my wardrobe already to be going on with, I certainly don’t need any more.
  3. I will try to buy only organic cotton garments where I can and need to (for my children for example). Even organic cotton uses an inordinate amount of water and pesticides for its production. Once again, I already have many cotton garments in my wardrobe so will try my hardest to make do with that I’ve already got!
  4. I will continue to buy quality over quantity and look for stuff that LASTS.
  5. I will look to the big chain’s sustainable offerings more (which I am already doing a little). Committed at Mango and Life at Zara being two.
  6. I will go back to looking on Ebay and at vintage for clothing in the first instance. Plenty of gems to be had with those two options.
  7. I will spread the word about more sustainable fashion when and where I can.

 

Of course, everything we do in life has consequences and we have to live and go about our daily lives as best we can. No one wants to be a bore about it all, hectoring people about their choices when we don’t know the full story. LIFE as we know is complicated. But it pays not just materially but spiritually to live in a slightly more mindful way. I’m pressing the reset button in everything I do this January. All of the above will apply too to my household and usage of plastic for example.  I guess the point is, that , with all of us making small steps in the right direction, maybe there can be a positive change. I mean look what’s already happened in 2017.. women speaking out in their droves against abuse and bullying, a championing of diversity in the media, activism in the face of a farcical and petulant ‘boy child’ leader of the free world. I’m looking already to 2018 for more positive changes. Can’t wait.

I’d love to hear more about what your NY resolutions are and your opinions on the above, dear readers. Just drop me a line in the comment box below. Until the next time. xxx

 

 

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