What is the True Cost of what you are wearing?

Fast fashion, low wage manufacturing, poor working conditions. Taking steps to be a more conscious consumer.

 Our generation is the first that grew up with fast fashion. We were and still are able to get our favourite designer influenced clothes at rock-bottom prices. I took advantage of this and I’m sure most of you did too. There was a phase in my life where I definitely subscribed to the quantity over quality mode of buying and treating myself to new clothes once in two-three weeks.

 Does this sounds familiar? A friend made me listen to this podcast by Rich Roll interviewing the Director of a documentary called – The True Cost. (http://truecostmovie.com/)  The True Cost is a documentary film exploring the impact fashion on people and the planet. All of us have witnessed continuous decrease in the price of clothing. But that’s only one side of the industry, the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. Honestly, I still have to watch the documentary, but I have been reading about it and I’m moved. It’s making me question my decision of selling these clothes – I don’t know where are they from, who made them, how they made them and most importantly if they were fairly paid? 

 So you must be thinking – what can we do about it? How can we help? Here are a few things we all can start with – 

  • Buy ethical. Here is a list of a few brands in India who are following fair trade model.  http://www.thealternative.in/lifestyle/10-indian-organic-clothing-brands-that-you-should-be-proud-of-wearing/

  • Know what is happening in the industry – Zara has been called our twice for terrible labour conditions. It is also one of the large retailers who just signed a legally binding agreement to finance fire safety and building improvements in Bangladesh, along with H&M and the parent company of Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger. Addhttp://www.ecouterre.com to your bookmarks to know what is happening in the industry.

  • Go for quality over quantity – One of the factors contributing to horrific labour conditions is paying cheap prices for throwaway clothes. Instead, build a wardrobe of classic staples that will last you for years! Think more carefully when curating your closet, next time when you see a t-shirt for Rs 100/- don’t go – it is so cheap – why not? There are 1000 reasons why you should not.

  • Opt for Vintage/ Used Fashion – I do this all the time! You can stock up on some really classy pieces with a clear conscience! It’s difficult to find though, but the thing with vintage is that it has superior craftsmanship and fit.

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