Oh, what to do, what to do? I’ve mentioned it here before, so it may come as no surprise that I am crazy indecisive. Like, I flip a coin to decide what pizza topping to get, indecisive. And lately I’ve been feeling indecisive about if I’m ready to take the next step in the ethical fashion movement. Am I ready to make that my “thing”?
I know there are consequences to buying cheap, fast fashion: waste, hazardous chemicals, unsafe work conditions, unfair pay, unsustainability to name a few. So it seems like an easy answer. But, I’m afraid to commit and here’s why.
First, I don’t trust myself. By that, I mean I don’t 100% trust my style judgement yet. And that makes the idea of spending more money on items scary. Because sometimes I think I’ve found the perfect item and it fits well and it pairs well with my other clothes, but then I just don’t wear it for one reason or another. (Sometimes I don’t even know why I don’t wear it, I just don’t.) If that item is a $15 top the damage to my pocketbook is minimal and I don’t feel as bad passing it along. If that item is a $75 top it’s a little harder to swallow the mistake.
I’m making progress and feeling more confident in my personal style as I continue building my capsules. I am getting better and better at sticking to what I love and thinking over every purchase, but spending big money on clothes scares me. Or maybe that’s the point? Maybe we shouldn’t take our purchases quite so lightly?
Second, I love having to option of adding a couple of cheaper, trendier items each season to keep my capsule feeling fresh. These accents pieces bring life to my base wardrobe in the form of prints, colors of the year, and texture but without much risk if the same items aren’t “in” the next season. It makes me nervous to close that door.
Third, I would miss my favorite stores. Say goodbye to my trusty Old Navy and GAP? And what about H&M that I literally just discovered and kind of fell in love with? I have an Old Navy credit card that we use for our big monthly expenses and get rewards for, so I get to do most of my shopping for myself and the family free…that’s a tough thing to give up.
Which brings me to, my budget. I am a bargain hunter through and through. I love scoring a good deal. With four kids and two teacher salaries (did you know my hubby’s a teacher too?), it’s kind of important. And, unfortunately, ethical fashion comes with a heftier price tag than I’m used to.
So, with that said, does this have to be an all or nothing? Or is it good enough that I start taking baby steps? Can I be partially ethical? I love how Karin at Truncation has decided not to rush it. As my friend, Andrea, so eloquently points out, there is a lot of gray area in ethical fashion. And I’m in it.
So here are a few ideas I’m going to focus on moving forward. In the next few weeks I’ll be elaborating more on how I’m incorporating each of these ideas.
My baby steps into ethical fashion: