Ways to Make More Conscious Choices
You know how you drive somewhere and your mind wanders and before you realize it, you have arrived but were so distracted you don’t remember every detail of how you made it to your destination safely? Or you are getting groceries and picking out the same items repeatedly without taking the time to take a second look at new items that might be on the shelves? We’re all guilty of it from either a lack of time, energy, or from being creatures of habit. Before beginning my clothing line, I rarely paid attention to whether or not my own personal closet had any sustainable items in it. Were my jeans made with eco-friendly dyes, or were any of my tops or blouses made by brands who use ethical manufacturing processes? I’ll admit, I have been a very unconscious consumer when it comes to fashion.
When I stopped to take some time to think about this, I had a hard time believing it never occurred to me before. I’m an avid recycler and try not to purchase a lot of plastic materials. I’m nutso around the house about not wasting water or electricity. I use eco-friendly cleaning products and cosmetics. So, I was kind of dumbfounded I hadn’t taken the time to look at what I was wearing on my body.
Don’t get me wrong...I am not going to throw out everything in my closet that isn’t sustainable either. I always hear the most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe. And I’m not going to feel guilt ridden if I choose to purchase something I truly love and will wear for years that isn’t 100 percent sustainably made. But, I am planning on moving forward with making better choices for the environment whenever possible. It is very difficult to be perfect when it comes to only making sustainable fashion choices, but perhaps we can all become more conscious when we are shopping and take a little extra time and care to look at the materials that are used and what the ethics are behind the brands we are supporting. Are the factories producing the garments you buy paying their workers a fair wage? When you buy clothing that is “Made in the USA”, you can be much more assured that they are versus clothing made overseas.
Another factor to consider when choosing to purchase a new item of clothing is how much will the actual cost be to wear it? Will that new shirt cost $50 and you wear it once, or will it cost $250 and you wear it at least 25 times? The less expensive shirt actually costs you $50 to wear for one time where the more expensive one costs you $10 per wear. If something costs more upfront and you know that you will wear it for a longer period of time, then that makes it the more sustainable choice.
I won’t be perfect in my new mission to become more conscious with my shopping choices, nor would I ever shame those who choose not to pay attention to it at all. However, once you become aware of these issues and put them into your consciousness, it’s easy to realize that we are all capable of making at least a few better choices.