In honor of just having had Fashion Revolution Day, we wanted to write about something we believe is important - the impact that fashion has on our planet. It’s no secret that the fashion industry is a huge part of the world’s economy and that the rise of fast fashion in the world of social media and influencer culture has steadily increased in recent years. When it comes to conscious consumerism, fast fashion has definitely become a part of the conversation surrounding sustainable lifestyle choices. We see many people starting to question the sustainability of this industry, as a result of its rise in popularity. One way to counter this is to practice conscious shopping and choosing to purchase from brands that reflect practices of ethically made goods, fair trade, and sustainability.
At Poème, we want to share why we choose to practice conscious shopping, what this means, and how you can incorporate it into your daily life too!
What is Conscious Shopping?
To shop consciously is to shop with awareness. It’s simply a practice of being mindful of where your clothing is made, who you purchase your clothing from, and what it is made of.
We live in a world that is oversaturated with fast fashion. New products are continuously cranked out in large quantities from sweatshops overseas - often made from materials that have a harmful impact on our planet. This directly impacts you. You have a choice, however and how you to choose to shop matters. Your dollar is your voice; you have a chance to flip the script with every purchase.
Below are some of the impacts that shopping consciously can have:
When you shop consciously, you are in the driver's seat when it comes to being mindful of the fabric content. Synthetic fibers which are often used in mass clothing production like polyester, contribute to pollution, including the number of microplastics in the ocean and air. These types of fabrics are not only harmful to the environment but are not pleasant for the wearer. Think of all the times you had to wear a cheap polyester outfit in the heat of summer, or a night out of dancing. That sticky, sweaty feeling on your skin is from wearing a fabric that doesn’t breathe or let your skin breathe as nature intended. Sourcing out brands that use friendlier fibers such as organically cultivated cotton, rayon, linen, bamboo, tencel are not only friendlier for the planet’s ecosystem but healthier for your body.
In addition to caring for the environment, it is equally important to choose brands whose goods are made under ethical conditions. What might save you a few dollars at the checkout counter can be borne on the backs of hundreds of exploited men, women and children. Try to source clothing that is made in countries with fair labor laws - or purchase from companies for whom integrity is important. Doing a little research may help those who produce your clothing live a better quality of life.
It’s no secret that large retailers borrow and often without permission, the designs of artisans, artists, and other types of creatives. Thanks to social media, this fact has been brought to light over recent years. This isn’t always a negative thing, artists have often referenced other artists, since the beginning of art itself. However, it becomes a problem is when intellectual property is directly violated when artisans are not paid fairly for their labor, and when large companies don’t directly support working artists. How to avoid this is by making the conscious choice to buy from the artists themselves, small local retailers, and brands that work directly with artisans to create ethically made goods.
What does this mean for you?
How you choose to spend money is how you affect the world around you. Along with these impacts, there are other great reasons to adopt a conscious mindset when it comes to your purchasing habits.
- Adopting a Simplified and Minimalist Lifestyle can help the environment (and your wallet): Did you know that something like 20% of clothing isn’t worn more than once? Think of all of the closet and mental space that could be cleared if you choose your clothing with intention. Choosing quality pieces and a carefully curated wardrobe helps you not only always have something to wear but can keep you from impulse purchasing new clothing.
- Quality pieces = The longevity of Wear: You have the power to choose quality pieces you will wear again and again and maybe even pass on to your children. The more quality the piece means the less money you will spend buying new items.
- Your style, your way. We know our Poème customers love our unique pieces, and it's one of the key things we strive for when creating new styles. If standing out is your MO, you will be able to find some truly one of a kind options by shopping with small artisans, local designers, and locally owned boutiques.
Ultimately, when it comes to conscious shopping it’s really about empowerment. When you choose to spend your money wisely you’re empowering not only yourself, but also artisans, designers, and workers across the entire planet. You’re also honoring the earth and the ecosystem. We don’t know about you, but that’s pretty amazing stuff! You have the freedom to choose how you play a part in the world around you. Starting with something as simple as how you buy a piece of clothing.