Shop+Style Sustainably: 11 Self-Reflective Prompts + a WHOLE LOT of inspo
**Hi Friends! Before we get started, YES, I am filing this topic under ‘Spiritual Expansion’. When I started discovering all that goes on behind-the-scenes of this seemingly ‘normal’ industry of constant, never-ending consumption, it was truly a spiritual revelation and provided serious (EASY) impetus for change. I hope to expedite that process by sharing what I’ve learned about this topic with as many people want to learn!
The only way we’ll change the world is by educating and changing ourSelves.
In the wake of Forever 21 filing for bankruptcy (yayy!!!),
I decided it’s finally time for me to open up about my own growth surrounding fast-fashion and over-consuming. No joke, before this massive shift, I had a shopping addiction. From a young age, I’d see my Mom buy and return things like it was going out of style — of course I was primed to grow into the same cycle. That rush of a purchase (big or small) for something I honestly didn’t even need satiated a piece of mySelf that I didn’t know was yearning for a lot more than a new shirt, shoe, or makeup product… but only for a moment. Before I knew it, I was scrolling through online shops, watching product review videos, buying into the notion that ‘if I just had this, so much of my stress would evaporate’. At the height of my emotional unhappiness (in the midst of a massive identity crisis working as a cocktail server in Las Vegas’s hottest nightclub), I was spending as much as $250 a month at Sephora. I’d spend hundreds on friends and family’s birthdays — I never used to have a lot of money, so when I did have it, I wanted to spoil everyone around me. (hint: another clue to a deeper issue, wanting to be loved, liked and appreciated by everyone and willing to spend hundreds to make that desire feel like a reality.)
Fast-forward to 2019,
4 years out of the nightlife industry, massive spiritual awakening and all-around restructuring of my life. In the last 2 years I’ve gotten rid of nearly 70% of my closet. I’ve invited some choice pieces back in, but overall, I feel like simplifying A LOT of the way I shop and how often I shop (+ the overall awareness I now have surrounding consuming in general) has been a really sweet piece of self-growth I’ve seen that I love talking to people about.
Thanks to this article, I learned a lot about A LOT of wasteful aspects that exist within the fashion and fast fashion industry per year. Did you know that the average article of clothing lasts for <3 years? Or that the average American throws away over 80 lbs of clothing per year, only 15% of which gets recycled? This. isn’t. sustainable.
I also love documentaries like River Blue and The True Cost that educate on who is most likely making your cheap clothes, their working conditions, the resources that go into making them and where the waste from that production gets dumped, and honestly, a lot of other eye-opening tidbits I’d never even thought to consider in regards to what goes on behind the scenes of my shopping habit. We are voting with our dollars every single day. Rather than getting overwhelmed at the reality that your spending causes (and ultimately, demands more of) just understand that you are able to change your habits at any time, for any reason.
Our Planet thanks you for it. We are her guardians, we need to know what steps we can take toward keeping her healthy.
So, here are a few self-reflective prompts to consider the next time you go to buy something from a corporation that mass-produces:
Where does my desire to buy stem from? (Is it rooted in a place that wants to stay ‘on-trend’/’relevant’/’stylish’? hint: shopping probably won’t provide a lasting solution for that.)
Do you sometimes crave to the feel-good effects of ‘retail therapy’? There may be something deeper in your life that craves to be looked at.
Do you really need it?
Do you really love it?
Do you know/support where it came from?
How long will it last (average garment lasts <3 years)?
How many resources went into making it?
Was it ethically made?
Was the garment maker paid living wages?
What’s the factory like where it’s made?
Conscious Consumer Figureheads I Follow On The Gram:
Ashley Ayala @get.ethical - Ashley does a great job at giving a clean, clear, behinds-the-scenes look into a lot of aspects we probably hadn’t ever heard of or considered about all that goes into transparent, ethical clothing production. She was who invited me to the first fast-fashion documentary I ever watched, River Blue.
Corinne Loperfido @corinneloperfido - Corinne is an incredible zero waste + minimalism teacher. I met this awesome lady at Spirit Weavers Gathering, and was super intimidated by her the first 2 years (working through my own sexual blocks — she’s ALSO got an incredible project called ‘Pussy Powerhouse’ that promotes self expression and empowerment through sensual health.), I sat at one of her workshops this year and was in awe of her raw power and liberated self expression… Check her recent feature on living minimally here. Sidenote: Surrounding yourSelf with the type of people that radiate a vibe that intimidates, confuses or inspires you are the best catalysts for life-changing growth!
Dazey LA @dazeyla & @danidazey - This female owned brand promotes clothing ‘for people who care’, with a slow-fashion (tees are made when orders are places to prevent waste) biz model. These graphic tees are created by owner Dani Dazey and are meant to empower women and act as conversation starters. More on this brand in an upcoming blog post!
Here are a few alternative options to shop more sustainably:
Host A Clothing Swap!
Hosting a clothing swap with friends or in your local community can be really great for a ton of reasons. You meet new people, make new friends, find cool clothes, donate to a great cause, and recycle what would otherwise end up in a landfill. Here’s how they work: Every person brings up to 10 items and they get up to 10 tickets to shop with. 1 item = 1 ticket. You walk away with as much or as little as you’d like, and can donate what wasn’t re-homed to a local charity (I love Safe Nest)! Make it fancy by charging $5 to participate, make some healthy snacks and donate the funds to the shelter too!
If you haven’t hopped on the consignment clothing game yet, you’re missing out! There are SO many incredible finds at thrift shops. It’s true that you don’t always know what you’ll encounter, or whether you’ll walk away a winner (sometimes you wont), but a lot of times, you can find something you wouldn’t have even imaged could be for you, and that’s half the fun! Not only is thrift shopping a great way to revamp your style and try things you wouldn’t normally try, but you can also find pieces that inspire you to DIY/upcycle them and make them completely your own! A LOT of my very favorite pieces in my closet are items I’ve added a personal touch to… THAT’S what makes them cherished pieces of art, which I think, we should be adorning ourSelves in daily ANYWAY!
I posted this video on my YouTube channel nearly a year ago to show an awesome thrift shop haul, and actually wore the butterfly muumuu today!. Check it out!
I hope you enjoyed this article and topic! Id’d love to hear some of your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!