#Month 8: Quitting fast fashion - a 12 month challenge
February was not a great improvement on January. It teased London with some sunny spring days and then drowned our hopes with freezing rain. Aside from the weather it also felt like it was dragging on in many other respects. There were glimpses of unbound joy and perfect days but these were jewels in the rubble. February is usually one of my favourite months to hunker down, eat pancakes and think about love before the bright days of summer begin.
In the middle of this month, I experienced a perfect weekend. There is a description of this weekend at the bottom but arguably it's not important what I did but rather that I felt fulfilled, grateful and in harmony with the crazy world we live in. When I was shopping for new clothes regularly, it always felt like I needed more of something just beyond my reach. It was more than just the need to fill a hole, it was the knowledge that there was something in a shop that I needed to get in case I missed out on it. That kind of feeling seeps into everything else in life and is never satisfied. I needed to break the cycle in order to get out of it and it took about 6 months to be truly shot of it. Now that I have a bit of perspective, I am going to use the next few months of this challenge to challenge you. What does fashion mean to you? Is every clothes purchase you make a reflection of who you are inside? Clothes have a lifespan so think about where they come from and where they will end up.
I saw a little video a friend posted which went along the lines of this:
What is the cost of your outfit?
Everyday 80 billion items of clothing leave factories globally.
73 million tonnes of clothes are thrown away, every year.
Only 20% of clothing is recycled, globally.
20% of industrial water pollution comes from textile dying.
The carbon footprint of a t-shirt is 20 times greater than it's weight.
So, what can you do?
- Choose natural fibres such as bamboo, linen, cotton.
- Steer clear of cheap, fast fashion, obviously.
- Shop second hand or from independent tailors.
- "Buy less, choose well, make it last" Vivienne Westwood.
A perfect weekend:
On this perfect Saturday and Sunday I changed my priorities and adjusted the parameters of my existence. I will happily dive back into it to tell you what happened. I woke up early on the Saturday and made my way to Waterloo station in a hurry. I was late for a meeting with an estate agent who was to show me two flats in Winchester. I had been looking at flats for my first property in Bristol with no luck and, that week, decided Winchester was not only the perfect place to invest but also for me to live in. I had never been there before but as soon as I arrived I knew it was the right place and a huge burden of responsibility and decision was lifted off my shoulders. As I skipped home later that day I called the estate agent and made an offer for one of the tiny flats. It's a wonderful feeling to be so sure of something.
Once home, I raided my fancy dress drawer and stuffed some questionable tutus and leotards in my bag before hot footing it over to East London to be greeted by some of my favourite people in the world drinking wine and eating crisps. That evening we went to Secret Cinema which had transformed into Montmartre ca. 1899. https://www.secretcinema.org/love and the Moulin Rouge! Can't say any more about that because it's a secret.... but long story short; I believe in beauty, freedom, truth and above all, LOVE!
The next day I was feeling delicate after so much merriment, and so I made my way to South London. Having battled through Brixton's noisy centre and pushed past the weird clang-y instruments around Electric Avenue, I found my friend's apartment and entered a world of comfy, yummy, cosy paradise. I love the work I get to do in my job but the BEST thing is the wonderful people I have met and on this day a few gathered together. We went for a walk around the park, munched some tasters at a farmers market and then ate a delicious home cooked meal. That evening I was also invited to a yummy Sunday roast at my boyfriend's parents house. I am delightfully spoilt sometimes.