What does it mean to be a responsible, or conscious, consumer? A vast subject to comprehend, but if you haven’t started already, it’s something we all need to explore. Words like eco-friendly and green-living are thrown around, but do we really know the underlying groundwork where these terms come from. When I started working with prAna, I dived into the topic even more. After all, it is the ethos of their company – based in Carlsbad, they’re dedicated to sustainable business with a conscience. While I’m still very much a student, I’ve digested some material and come up with some tips, mostly focused on cultivating a more mindful closet. I hope to keep sharing as I go forward on this journey and movement.
RESEARCH This is a good place to start. Knowledge is power, so by seeking out information and learning about sustainability you’ll be properly equipped when making decisions. When I uncovered that climate change is real –duh– and fashion has a direct impact on the environment, I was compelled to research further. The biggest way we can help is by educating ourselves not only on the problems, but also the solutions.
LABELS A brand wants you to know that they support fair trade, use organic, source local, etc. Almost always they will indicate this to the consumer in hopes for you to choose them versus a competitor. Besides, it’s slowly becoming more profitable to be ethical. Look for a label, sticker or special tag with this information – and you can make a choice from there.
QUALITY > QUANTITY These days, fast fashion is notorious for being quick on trend yet slow on quality. Take a step back for a minute and analyze the purchase. Do you want it? Do you need it? It’s ok to spend, but aim to acquire pieces that will last. I don’t recommend accumulating a closet overflowing with cheap, badly made items. Buy less, choose well.
REPEAT (repeat) I am guilty, and proud, of this: wearing my outfits multiple times. No shame. Laziness? Off topic for this post. If it’s not the identical look, it’s a mix ‘n match of tops, bottoms, shoes, accessories etc. In the world of social media, I understand one might feel pressure to keep up with OOTDs -athleisure included- but there’s a shift happening wherein more and more of us are loving, reusing and restyling our wardrobe.
LOVE PEOPLE, USE THINGS …because the opposite never works. That quote from Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things really stuck with me. It’s a simple reminder to value people over possessions. When things are considered more important than people, it can be a dangerous occurrence and a sign to revisit your relationships, principles and morals.