The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world after the oil industry. Also, in one year, 250.000 people working in production in India killed themselves because of their hopeless circumstances of life. Buying in Europe, we actually have an impact on people’s lives elsewhere. Apart from buying fair food, fair fashion is the easiest way to act responsibly when it comes to using consumer products.
Why we need to act responsibly
To think all is good when we buy fair fashion is a major but very common mistake. It all starts with our behavior. Changing our wardrobe after every season adds to the negative impact of our consumerism and therefore the market has a greater demand for more junk. That propels dire employments and ads to the social injustice. Also, looking at the carbon footprint, we have to admit that we produce and use way more than we actually need.
Acting responsibly has two important components. One, using our stuff for a longer period of time and not change the wardrobe every year. Things get in and out of fashion periodically anyway and it is wiser to keep them. Two, giving some thoughts before our purchase. Is the product of desire produced under <<fair>> conditions? Are the workers paid enough to make a living out of it? That applies for the production chain as well considering hazards for health and children working.
Asking what we need
Do you ever ask yourself what you really need? Or are you focused on what you want? Materialistic acquisition is a funny concept. Whenever I felt a hole inside me, I used to fix it with new stuff that I would buy. But that was a short term strategy. Whatever I bought, it never made me happy. It is like they say: << You should learn to want what you have, rather than having what you want. >>
I usually carry a small notebook with me. Whenever I have the desire to buy something, I write it down and put the date behind it. If I still want to buy it in two or three months, I consider a purchase. Not earlier. The Buddhists say: << You get rich by the things you do not desire. >> I like that quote a lot.
At the end of the day, it is all about conscious consumption. Taking a step back and giving some thoughts prior to your purchase might help. Buying fair fashion is a great way to value the work that has been put into a product by simply paying a fair price. But you do not need to pay more than in a regular warehouse store if you buy online and avoid big chains of stores. And there are good websites to choose from.