How I Consume Fashion
As we are in the midst of the age of social media as a main driver of consumer influence, it seems appropriate that we step back and take a look at our consumer behaviour through a lens of mindfulness. This can be values-driven, informed by experiences and attitudes.
I want to share my perspective on mindful consumption of fashion. Here are my ramblings…
I look at it this way… I’m curating my own ‘collection’ per se of clothing, footwear and accessories. I intend for these pieces to stand the test of time and for the majority to make up my foundational wardrobe. I have key pieces that are distinctly warm weather and also cool weather appropriate and the ‘in-betweeners’ I layer and mix between seasons. The remainder of my wardrobe is made up of what I deem to be my statement pieces (see a few of those here) and then trend pieces making up the lowest proportion.
I invest more in the high quality and items I deem will last the distance and stand the test of time. I intend to add more designer pieces to my wardrobe, both local and international. My treasured first designer piece, a Louis Vuitton bag, was a present to myself upon reaching 10 years of teaching. You may see this feature in my Instagram feed. I’m so happy with the style I ended up choosing as it’s so versatile.
Versatile items always win over fly by night pieces. If I can’t make many outfits with a piece, both dressy and dressed down then I do ponder on whether it can belong in my closet. I inspect fabrics for quality and choose styles I’ll wear over and over.
When purchasing any trend-based pieces, I ensure these can be worn with many outfit combinations. I tend to stick to lower investment items for trends, ie: accessories and certain forms of footwear. I try not to get too wrapped up in trends, however I do enjoy hunting down current styles on the second hand market, which brings me to…
I scatter through designer seconds, second hand, thrifted and vintage pieces to add spice and a point of difference. Some of these treasures are over 10 years old. If you’re not sure where to start with thrifting, I’ve got some tips for you here. I have items custom made from beautiful fabrics. I’ve had many items tailored to fit just right, repaired and patched. About a month ago, my alterations angel took in my favourite dress and she later confessed she was so nervous to do it as she knew how much it meant to me (even if the original price tag was $19.95); post alteration it fit beautifully and I know the power of a well-fitting garment.
I know I’ve definitely made purchase mistakes or have pieces in my wardrobe that I no longer wear which are still in beautiful condition. In this case I have generally donated to charity, sold or passed on to family and friends. One of my goals this year is to sell at a local fashion market or similar.
In terms of shopping for new pieces, I have traditionally sourced items from affordable brands, but I have begun to explore more local labels, second hand sellers and eco fashion as this has piqued my interest. I recently got a copy of the Baptist World Aid Ethical Fashion Report and the results may surprise you. This Ethical Fashion Report brings to our attention the actions the industry and individual companies (many of which you will recognise as being brands at your local shopping centre) are taking part in to address labour issues and exploitation.Here’s the link: https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/2019-ethical-fashion-report/
Whilst I know my personal consumption of fashion is not perfectly fitting into one of highly eco aware and completely sustainable, I do believe I am mindful in purchases and I look forward to learning and growing with the industry as we move towards a higher conscience when it comes to issues affecting the industry and ways to protect and harness our environment. Next, I’ll cover tips to being a mindful consumer of fashion.