Sunday, May 29, 2016

Tell A Story - Saying NO to Fast Fashion

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about being a "Fashion Minimalist". It has taken me a long time to get to this place, and I still struggle with my previous habits. But everyday I don't go shopping online, or on a spending spree at a thrift store, I feel way better about myself and my place in this world.

Well, last week, I got the "thrifting feeling" and made a stop at a local Value Village. I have learned to pay attention to these feelings in my gizzard (so-to-speak), because I usually find some sweet stuff when I do. I went during my lunch hour, which means I only have about 20 minutes to browse, try on items, and pay in order to get back to the office on time. This was definitely a successful visit, as I tried on 9 sleeveless shirts, purchased the three you see in the photo above and a snazzy belt to replace one I grew out of, and spent around $30.

But that's not the important part of my story today. I went in to the store knowing I was just going to focus on sleeveless tops, so that's where I headed. I found a row, and started to watch for the little tag on the rack that shows where the Mediums are kept. I had walked all the way down the sleeveless top row and there was no medium tag! What?! So I grabbed the closest top and checked the tag. Large. I grabbed a few more from down the row. All larges. Hmm.

So I pulled my blinders off, and looked around me. And noticed that there were FOUR ROWS of sleeveless tops. Four fucking rows. Just of sleeveless tops. There were another couple of rows for "tank tops". I couldn't believe it. I know that this particular store rotates seasonal items in and out of their shelves (bye bye winter coats, hello sleeveless tops), but I was still flabbergasted at the sheer amount of clothing I was seeing.

And to top it all off, when I came in the back way through the alley, I noticed three enormous crates full of garbage clothes. I'm talking 8'x5'x3' boxes full of clothes. Just sitting out in the alley. So for all the clothes for sale inside the store, they are still throwing stuff out because it is unsaleable.

Which leads me to my...

Feminist Thought of the Day
I believe that fast fashion is a feminist issue. The people that make our $2 t-shirts are predominantly women. They work long hours to support spouses, children, parents, often under terrible conditions. And they don't earn a living wage, and they don't have health benefits, and they face unimaginable injury and unsafe conditions, and they can't unionize. And for what? A fucking $2 t-shirt?!

I definitely believe that the rise in fast fashion is exacerbated by readily accessible thrift stores and other organizations that accept clothing donations. It is easy for us to get rid of barely used clothing, and we feel even less guilty about it because we rationalize that it is going to a good cause or something. And then we run out and fill our fucking closets again.

I am now even more mindful about what I buy, and from where.

Sorry not sorry this got a little preachy today. I'm gonna go ahead and garden now.

Happy Sunday!

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