Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My New Quality Clothing Challenge

   Standing in front of my closet and dresser I know I have a lot of cloths, maybe not as much as some people but definitely more than I should. After doing a rough estimation of the items I own I’ve come up with a count of all my garments, totaling close to 90 items.

Day dress-9
Button ups and blouses- 13
Cardigans- 6
Hoddies- 3
Knit shirts (T-shrits, long sleeves)-15
Tank tops-5
Jeans- 5
Dress pants-2
Shorts and capries-4
Yoga pants/leggings- 4

   Regardless of what you may think, this is a lot of clothing for one human.

   I’ll have to admit it’s easy to get sucked into a world of fast fashion. It’s almost a habit to checks shops both online and in store like Forever 21, H&M, and those like it that produce such a high turn over of cheap trendy clothing. It’s the first place I’ll look when I think I need a new article of clothing. They constantly have great new items posted and filling their stores every day. Plus who doesn’t love a great deal! That’s what we’re programed to believe at least. Sales, deals and cheap, cheap, cheap, that’s the way it should be.

   I use to be so addicted to Forever 21 because I could fill up my shopping basket with 6 to 12 items for all under $120l Score! As a strapped for cash college student this seemed like the best solution to keep cute and trendy. 

   Today I look at a dress worth $150 and I’m almost offended that a company would charge that much when I can find something similar for $25 at a cheaper store. Is this healthy? In our pursuit to spend less and ultimately prizing quantity over quality have we given up on caring where these garments come from? Why they can be sold for such a low cost? And what happens with them when we toss them? I know I didn't give it much thought.
   A few weeks back I came across this book called Overdressed, The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion. I couldn’t put this book down. It’s altered my view on the value of clothing and staying “Trendy.” I can’t recommend this book enough to everybody.  I want to share more but I’ll be saving that for future post.

   So the start of my experiment begins here. I’m committing the remainder of this year to stretch out my own wardrobe. If I need to something new I’ll either purchase only quality items for independent designers and real sustainable companies, visit more thrift shops, and sew my own clothing when needed. I see this as not only an experiment but also hopefully a huge eye opening experience for the way I value the work that goes behind quality goods and that I’ll loose this mass mentality of disposable clothing.

   I don’t think this will change my whole world, but if anything I believe it will make me think before I make an impulse buy and create a greater passion and love for the garments I sew for myself and others. 


Kasey said...

Awesome Teaka! Love this. Best of luck!

Unknown said...

i wrote a post on this too!! Love this book :)

Christi Lynn said...

wow that is amazing. i do not think i could do that. good luck!

Kari Jeanne said...

So amazing of you to challenge this mindset! I am definitely going to look into that book - it seems very interesting!! Since we move so often I am constantly evaluating what clothing I want to keep - is it worth packing up and moving?! We have started to INVEST in quality over quantity clothing, especially for the staples. Can't wait to hear more of your thoughts on this topic!

Liz Brown said...

I'll admit I have had the 'quantity over quality' mindset myself, the last few years. I really want to get back into sewing for myself ... I enjoyed it (back when I had time :)

Emme said...

i've been thinking about this a lot lately too. that's why i made a closet staples collection on my blog, so i can visualize what you really need in your closet. i'm interested to know how this goes for you! that book looks really interesting too. i'll have to read it soon :)

Julia said...

Sounds like a great book, I wonder if I can find a copy here.

I've been thinking of going on a chain store ban too, yes cheap prices are appealing but why are those prices cheap? Is it because it's poor quality or because the person who made it paid peanuts...?

Carissa | Eskimo Kisses said...

that book sounds very intriguing. I know I have waay too many clothes in my closet and dressers. (yes dresserS) so bad.
good luck on your experiment!:) keep us updated

ps: talk about cute blogs, i love yours!

Elle said...

This was a very intriguing post. I will be looking at that book very soon. Glad I found your wee space. Love Elle xo

Unknown said...

lovely ideas, really like thoughts that would strike against our ordinary minds and get us thinking <3
would you like to follow each other?

Unknown said...

I get this....I really do, and I love that you posted about it! It's really hard when we're trying to save money and not be wasteful at the same time. I kind of have a story about cheap labor, but one thing's for sure: there are other worse things that some of these people living in 3rd world countries can do....And I say this with my parents coming from a 3rd world country and some relatives still living there... So in a way, while their working conditions are horrible, they at least have these jobs when their opportunities are slim to begin with...short of being able to come to America and make their lives better like my parents were able to over 40 years ago....

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