Fashion in retrospect

Fashion in retrospect

The world is moving at a fast pace, so much so it’s hard for us all to keep up at times. As it stands we are consuming more rapidly than ever, which is having a massive impact on our environment. To be frank, if we carry on the way we are it’s highly likely that we’ll use up our finite resources within the next 20 years, or maybe less. It was reported in the Guardian that humans are damaging the environment quicker than it can recover (Harvey, 2016).¬†Scary stuff.

In a world where fast fashion reigns supreme, consumers are being bombarded with 52 micro-seasons of fashion each year, instead of harking back to the 50’s/ 60’s when you would have just two (spring/summer & autumn/winter). As consumers, we live in a world where glossy adverts, window displays and email notifications of sales are thrown at us, with taglines such as “quick! sale ends at 12pm today!” and “last chance to buy or it’s gone forever!” and store offers which we feel we just can’t resist. I don’t know about you, but I almost used to get anxious and be like “S**t! There’s only 2 of those pairs of shoes left, if I don’t get them now I’ll cry/ regret it/ be gutted” (omit where applicable).

Looking back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, these aren’t items which will enhance or add value to our lives. These items aren’t your basic, life sustaining, thought provoking needs that are going to get you through life. They just aren’t essentials. Obviously you need basics in your wardrobe, but do you really need 16+ pairs of shoes? Are you a caterpillar? Think about it.

These days I rarely shop for clothes (when I used to be addicted to the thrill of the sale chase and that much loved ASOS parcel arriving), I’m now being more consciously aware of where I do spend my money and now value more expensive items that last longer than a ¬£3.00 Primark top, which would probably get thrown away in a matter of months.

What’s the point of this post? Well, I was having a good, long hard look at my wardrobe the other day and started having a massive clear-out and was mentally totting up the monetary totals of all the items I was either donating to charity shops or selling on eBay. I just thought it was ridiculous the amount I had previously spent on clothing to give me a few brief moments of joy, only to be replaced by something else to give me that brief, euphoric rush and so on and so forth.

Another thing I want to highlight, is that as a blogger who used to write quite a lot about fashion, encouraging you to buy, being an ‘influencer’ and promoting brands, I feel it’s now my responsibility to tell you to stop.

Don’t look up to people and think “I wish I was like them”, “I wish I had their wardrobe” or get yourself into unnecessary debt because you feel you have some idealistic view of how you want to look, because someone else is influencing you or because a glossy mag thinks you’d look great in x,y and z. To be honest, I look at most fashion bloggers these days and of course I appreciate many of them have worked super hard to where they are at the top of the chain; but I also wonder how much debt they’ve perhaps got themselves into to sell a ‘lifestyle’ which may be unattainable for the average joe (ie. me, and perhaps you?).

I’d like you to think about these things when you next consider purchasing an item of clothing:

  • Do I really need it?
  • Is it worth the money?
  • Will this enhance my life?
  • What do I already have in my wardrobe?

Think about how you’re spending your money, think about your environmental impact and THINK about fast fashion. Do you need that top? Probably not.

Useful resources to learn about fast fashion and consumerism:


Slave to Fashion

Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion

Clothing Poverty: The Hidden World of Fast Fashion and Second-Hand Clothes

To Die For?: Is fashion wearing out the world?

Slow Fashion

Websites and interesting reads:

Fashion Revolution

Ethical consumer

Clean Clothes Campaign

Fashion must fight the scourge of dumped clothing clogging landfills

The eco guide to new mindful activism

Sustainable style: will Gen Z help the fashion industry clean up its act?




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