The more I learn about the fast fashion industry the more repulsed by it I am. There is so much out there with life left in it. Clothes are purchased, worn and disregarded in mere months (sometimes weeks) with little thought to what went into making them or where they end up once we are finished with them.
We are obsessed with consumption, drunk on ‘stuff’ and have turned shopping from an occasionally necessary activity into a hobby. A thing we do when we’re bored or tired or in need of a quick ‘buzz.’ I’m guilty of this too. I love nothing more than filling up a virtual basket or browsing the racks of clothing stores alike. It is so easy, so cheap and so attractive to just keep shopping. It’s a cheap high, a small thrill that almost always leaves me wanting more.
When I started buying for Golden Child it struck me very quickly that I was on the tip of a very big iceberg. Children grow so fast that their clothes barely get a few wears before they are ‘finished’. When clothes are made well and built to last they should fit child after child – hand-me-downs for all. Smaller families, a desire for ‘new’ and keeping up with trends mean that hand-me-downs are not as ubiquitous as they used to be. We simply buy, wear, dispose and buy again. I was finding clothes that were twenty or thirty years old in practically perfect condition. Somewhere along the line they got tossed towards the thrift store, never to be thought of again. It pains me to think of all the rest that were simply tossed in the bin. How many wearable items are buried in landfill? Too many.
Between 2000 and 2014 the production of textiles doubled and we, as consumers, in that time began buying 60% more. We also cut our use of the clothing we buy by half.* If that isn’t ludicrous I don’t know what is.
In my small and personal way I am striving to do better, for myself and for my son. I am trying to simply buy less. It’s the easiest thing to do – it’s free. When I have a purchase to make I think about it and ask myself if it’s a need, a want or a ‘nice to have’, I wonder about the length of time if will last me, the person who made it, where it will end up when I am finished with it and whether its costing the earth. I am trying to encourage you to buy less and buy better.
Gold Child is tiny but we are growing. Our aim is to breathe life and love into vintage garments for your little ones. It is my hope that buying something from us you are buying one less something ‘new’. And when you do buy new that you’ll think about what you’re buying. None of us are perfect, sustainability comes at a price, but the true price of fast fashion is much greater than we really know.
Some further reading:
- *Watch the video above, my pal Gwen kicks off at around 11 minutes in and she kills it with a talk on circular fashion, zero waste and the dangers of obsolescence.
- Check our #slowfashionoctober on Instagram – incredible inspiration in short bursts (and lovely photos to boot!)
- Voting with your $ (or euro, or pound, whatever), Caroline Donofrio explores feminist finances and how your spending could change the world.