I recently read the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and while I found myself laughing out loud or rolling my eyes at some of the absurd or quirky suggestions the author makes, I found myself most upset that she never states the root cause for the need of tidying up: consumerism. You could keep everything that makes your heart sing or brings you joy, but until you address the driving need to keep buying more, your life will never be tidy. The magic can’t exist.
Consumption. Our society and government is founded on the system of buying and selling. While we started this blog to promote ethical fashion brands and other manners of ethical consumption, ultimately this driving need to consume more is a problem. Not only does our planet have finite resources to contribute to its inhabitants, not only does industry contribute towards all manners of environmental destruction and human rights disasters, over-consumption robs us of joy and happiness. When we are focused and obsessed with stuff, we miss relationships, adventures, experiences, nature. It is a diminished way to experience life.
“The situation the Earth is in today has been created by unmindful production and unmindful consumption. We consume to forget our worries and our anxieties. Tranquilising ourselves with over-consumption is not the way” – Thich Nhat Hanh
While we love seeing the ethical fashion movement and we enjoy equipping our readers with options that do the least harm, we would be remiss if we didn’t address this troubling thought. We are victims of it as well – it is just as easy to shift from excitement over your next Gap or Target purchase to your next ethical brand purchase. If we are honest with ourselves, we still spend an embarrassing amount of time thinking about these things.
We enjoy telling the story of an ethical garment when someone comments on a piece of clothing – they are usually stories of hope and redemption which are the best stories to tell. But I want more opportunities to tell the stories for less garments.
I have made a conscious decision to try and shake off this demand on my life. One of the ways I am going to do this is to wear my favorite clothes more often. Even weekly. I want to see people day after day and have them recognize that I wore that yesterday or several days ago. I want to free people up to not care or be concerned with what others are thinking of their wardrobe, because no one is watching but ourselves. Let’s wear our favorite clothing until it’s threadbare and then keep wearing it. Let’s shirk the driving desire for more stuff we don’t need. How do we do this? We will be talking about this more in our next posts.