You guys, it was SO cold. Can you tell? haha!
The Times They are a Changing.
Fitting words for today’s post.
For awhile now I have wanted to get downtown to take some pictures in front of this Bob Dylan mural so this past weekend we finally got to it.
And you know what?
It couldn’t have been more perfect timing.
Well, over the past few months I have hinted that I’ve been thinking through some things and that I wanted to share them with you when the time is right.
And we’re getting there.
Before I share with you, please keep in mind that these are my thoughts only and not an attempt to shame anyone, judge anyone, or make anyone feel bad.
And I have to tell you that I feel really vulnerable writing this post.
It’s all because I have been thinking about the implications of thoughtless consumption.
I know. This isn’t news to you because I have talked about it before.
But here’s exactly what I mean:
I am coming to believe that there is a natural progression that happens when someone (I) takes a step back from spending money without thought or purpose.
Or rather, the choice to shop less has a natural consequence: it causes you to question your motives.
The questions arise: why am I shopping and consuming less?
and more importantly: why was I consuming so much before?
And that’s when it hits you (me): we are all a product of our environment.
I know the #firstworldproblems is often used in jest, but stop and think about it.
Do you think there are any capsule wardrobe bloggers in third world countries?
I have been born into an environment that has been given much and the expectation is that I live with little to no parameters.
No money for that Burberry trench? No worries! Just put it on the credit card… Along with the Acne leather jacket and the Chanel purse.
Or even better, I’ll just buy a cheap knockoff so it’s within my budget!
Everybody wins right?
Now, I don’t believe that there is anything intrinsically wrong with having nice things: things that will last and give you years of use.
Nor do I think that is there anything wrong with wanting to look trendy and to do it within a budget.
But those of us in the first world (I) have become a victim of the “consume more” message and we pursue it regardless of the cost.
Oh that filthy word cost.
Lately that word has nagged at me.
What is the true cost of our (my) endless need to consume more?
It is the stripping away of human dignity that naturally happens in a society that needs to consume more and more and more.
And THAT is the crux of the matter.
Our (my) endless consumption enables companies to make unethical choices in how they produce their goods.
I used to not like to think about this because it made me uncomfortable.
But lately it’s all I’ve been able to think about.
It won’t leave me alone.
And I have been so hesitant to share my thoughts with you because I was so afraid of somehow miscommunicating what’s really in my heart.
But there is no peace in fear and my word of the year is peace… So.
This is what I have come to believe: when a company is using slave labor to produce my trendy and affordable bell bottoms…
It’s me that must sacrifice, not the person being enslaved to produce them.
It’s clear isn’t it? If it’s a choice between having the bell bottoms or not (because I can’t afford a pair made by a company with ethical practices), then I don’t need the bell bottoms.
Let me repeat that: I don’t need them.
My desire to have an affordable clothing item is NEVER more important than a person’s dignity.
So I’ll be making some changes. And they will affect you because they will change the way I put my capsules together.
You know that I have always tried to buy as much as possible second hand.
But going forward, when I can’t find what I’m looking for in a thrift store, I’ll wait to purchase it until I can afford to buy it from an ethical brand.
Most of all friends, would you please see my heart behind this… I’m not sharing it because I want you to feel bad.
But this is MY space to share with you in the most authentic way I know how and this is where I’m headed.
And for those of you who have already stepped in this direction, do you have any tips for shopping ethical brands?
Let me know in the comments below because this is all brand new to me! I’m a complete novice.
And let’s have a conversation about this. What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Until next time,
Boots: Thrifted. Similar Ethical Option.
Hat: Old. Almost Identical Ethical Version.