Confessions of a Shopaholic
America is facing a clothing crisis. According to The Atlantic, over 10 million tons of clothing are sent to landfills every year. In addition to this waste, there are drastic effects on humans and the environment. I recently watched the documentary “True Cost” on Netflix that explores the health and ecological effects of mass consumerism on third world countries. I was horrified by disasters such as the 2013 Savar building collapse that killed over one thousand people. I wanted to do change the way that I shopped.
Recently, I discovered “minimalism” and “ethical consumerism” and one of my new favorite companies: Everlane, whose tagline is, “Exceptional quality. Ethical factories. Radical Transparency.” During my first glance, the prices seemed very steep since I was used to clothing from fast fashion brands such as H&M, ASOS, and Forever 21, where most items where less than $20 per piece. At Everlane, even very basic tees are around the $20 price point. However, I am willing to save up my money and purchase something that is made with high quality fabric that will last for years. For instance, a $10 tee from H&M that will last for less than a year (before it pills or rips and becomes unwearable) and a $20 tee from Everlane will last for much longer (or so I hope). Thus, the cost per wear is very low.
I am also happier wearing clothing that I know is made ethically, meaning workers are paid a fair wage and are working in safe factories. Everlane lets customers “see” the insides of each of their factories and learn about the working environment.
Here are the pieces I own from Everlane that have definitely been worth their cost per wear. I would rate them all 4 stars and above since I return the items I am not satisfied with (quite a few I have to admit)
FLAWS: None so far 🙂
FLAW: The collar button closure is a little too tight on my neck
FLAWS: very hard to break in and scratches easily so need to apply shoe polish often
If you are interested in Everlane you would like me to review more Everlane pieces, please use my referral link to purchase an item.
Shopping Second Hand
In hopes of reducing waste, I also shop second hand clothing mainly at online stores such as Poshmark and eBay (and sometimes at thrift stores). I don’t think there should be any shame in shopping second hand. I don’t worry that the clothing is “unsanitary” because I wash every piece very carefully, even silks and cashmeres (I use Laundress detergents for these special fabrics). Shopping second hand allows me to develop my own style at an affordable pace.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces from my closet that I purchased second hand. All of them are in excellent condition and look brand new. Many were around $20-$30 including shipping even though their original price were well over one hundred dollars.
It is a privilege to be able to be conscious about what I consume. I choose to consume ethically for clothing purchases since I am interested in fashion but due to financial constraints, I can’t currently afford to do the same in other aspects of my life such as grocery shopping. I hope to become a better consumer in the future.