11, 11, 2015

Why I Started Paying More Attention to My Clothes

Taniqua-russ-fair-trade-minimalist-fashion

If you ask my friends, they will tell you that I can be cheap at times. If you ask my family, they will tell you that I shop smart. I like to say that I’m frugal. My personal shopping motto is “never buy anything full price,” so you make your own judgement call. Either way you spin it, this habit was unhealthy.

When I graduated from college, I realized that I didn’t really have a good wardrobe. Some of you may be like, “Really? There are wars going on and people starving and you’re worried about your wardrobe?” Stick with me I promise it will all make sense and sound less materialistic by the end of the blog post (hopefully).

As I was saying, I did not have a good wardrobe. My clothes were pieces that really didn’t transition well into different settings and only lasted about 6 months to a year– it ripped or I was over the style. This was causing me to have to buy more clothes and amass so much stuff. It wasn’t that I just wanted knew clothes all the time; I needed new clothes because what I had didn’t last me or didn’t fit the occasion. As much as I like fashion, spending recklessly has never been my thing (ask my mom). I didn’t like always buying and I didn’t like having so much stuff.  So I started paying more attention to my clothes.

The Switch

About a year ago, one of my favorite YouTubers, Ambrosia Malbrough, made a video about her switch to minimalism. I was very intrigued and started doing my own research on the living concept. After reading around the web,  I wanted to be more minimal (haha juxtaposition ), beginning in my closet and trickling down into my life. I wanted to shift my focus to buying less, higher quality items.

While researching, I also learned more about ethical fashion. Now, I’m in now way, shape or form your typical Freddie (from A Different World for those of you who may need some context). Meaning I’m not the free-the-animals-recycle-and-save-the-whales type. But I do care about people and I found that some of my fashion choices weren’t showing that. Many fast fashion brands do not provide workers with fair wages or safe and healthy working conditions; and the more we purchase from them, the more we perpetuate these standards.

If you want to know more about fair trade and ethical fashion check out here or here. 

How/Where I Shop Now

As an adult, really quasi -adult, it is important to have a solid wardrobe. One that does not make me look like a teenager and one that lasts–because nobody has time to buy the same white shirt every year. It’s also become important to me to make more choices that promote fair standards for labor (reasonable work hours, no child labor,  fair living wages, etc). So I’ve started to take a second look at where I buy my clothes and really evaluate them.  Every choice isn’t perfect, but I’ve certainly been giving it more consideration.

I won’t lie to you; shopping this way is NOT cheap (that’s kind of the point). And I still haven’t figured out where to go for quality, ethical and fair-trade on a budget, but here are the places that’s worked for me so far.*

  1. Ebay
  2. Etsy
  3. Banana Republic
  4. H&M (Conscience Collection)
  5. Toms

*I promise to update this list once I get a hang of this

 


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Taniqua Russ

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