What does it mean to buy the good way?
A few weeks ago, me and my dear friend Bianca found ourselves in one of those loop convos where you start from a joke and then REALIZATION HITS HARD.
We were reading a few posts about conscious buying and the quality of the materials clothes are made of, just joking about being just two broke university students cursed-blessed with fashion love, but then we began this super convo about economics and ethics and standards depending on age and economical status and how society pushes our buying. So, why not? , we thought it would have been good to share our opinions and here they are, all put together in this article.
Before we dig deep, I’d like to say that these are no final truths, just our thoughts about these topics, so feel free to dissent and send your opinion too, as these are such difficult question to respond to, no matter how many trusted infos and datas we try to collect to shape an objective idea.
Let’s start, shall we?
- “CHI PIU’ SPENDE MENO SPENDE”
Since we were kids they told us this as a mantra. There actually are pieces that are more durable than the equivalent ones bought at cheaper prices. But this only possible in cases where we have the right economic conditions: if you need a coat and don’t have enough money for a good Max Mara one, being it new or vintage/second-hand, you will necessarily need to buy one in a cheap fast-fashion chain.
- PRICY DOES NOT MEAN ETHICALLY PRODUCED
A lot of brands who produce pieces that have quality, not just high-end ones but also mid-range ones, like Nike or Levi’s, to say a few, don’t produce equally sustainably. Specific brands politics aside, they are brands that produce their products in big mass factories.
Sustainable, I think, are small local brands that produce tailored clothes, handmade in labs and maybe made out of stock cloth that otherwise would have gone to waste; this, like @catheclisma, one of the guests of my second “Conversation with friends”, says, allows brands to produce quality clothes and keep the prices low, even if not always low enough for all to afford, but still sustainable for the environment and, most of all, for the workers’ rights.
- VINTAGE/SECOND-HAND IS BETTER?
Sure, buying clothes that have already been worn by someone but are still in good conditions allows those who buy them not only to spend less money but also to reduce pollution impacts. Still, it all depends on the brands of the pre-owned clothes we buy: buying at the second-hand local shop or online a hoodie that was made by a fast-fashion brand doesn’t make it better in terms of quality, ethics and durability just because you were not the one buying it straight from the big chain. This might change if we are buying clothes from high-fashion brands, like Valentino, Prada, Versace: durability sure is amazing, especially if the pieces are vintage, pre globalized ‘00s fashion (something that counts not just for high brands but also for mid-ones), when politics in the filed changed and got worse, but the prices are still a little out of reach for most people.
Still, there is a point I’d like to share, based on what @maert.ens said on Instagram about Vestiare Collective choice to not sell anymore second-hands pieces from fast-fashion brands: on long term, this might be good and sustainable, along with the fact that VC platform is connected to luxury pieces, but banning fast-fashion completely from one day to the other might be a problem, as all the clothes, no matter the brand, should be used as much as they can be in order to reduce the environmental impact they have.
- BUYING BETTER IS POSSIBLE
Let’s try to buy clothes on big occasions, like the holidays, when maybe we have put aside a little money and are able to afford a pair of dreamy pants or a coat made by the lovely local seamstress.
Or, maybe, try to fix those jeans we love but don’t fit on the waist, instead of just buying a new pair. Or, even, we could start paying more attention to the shapes that fit us best and that we feel really ourselves in, so to build a wardrobe of clothes that we sure will all wear a lot.
- IS A CAPSULRE WARDROBE POSSIBILE?
Yes and No. Yes, if, as we were saying, we try to understand which pieces we really wear with pleasure and confidence, as a mirror of who we are and our real style. No, or not easily at least, if we are not very fond of basics: if we love to change and spice up our fits a lot, maybe with a little help from accessories, the price and amount of clothes proportionally rise!
As Nostra Signora Miuccia Prada says: “Clothes, other than being necessary covers, are a powerful medium for expressing ourselves and experimenting!”.
So, yes to buying sustainable and well, no to having to be slaves of a wardrobe that follows just one trend, the basic one indeed.
- ARE SALES REALLY THE DEVIL?
This question came after reading an interesting post by @robertocruciani_, where he was talking about Black Friday sales, which ended just to make space for Christmas offers, so it might be useful to talk about it right now, approaching winter sales.
I find what he said deeply true: “As much as I think black Friday is fraud, a false communication that wants to pull us towards stuff we don’t need just by making them less pricy, to be able to call myself out of BF is a class privilege. A lot of people will use it to buy essential goods for a necessity, making their life conditions better. What we should demonize is the consumerism induced by the market, creating fake needs.”.
Along with this reflection, he actually gave tips on how to buy better: consider the material and its quality, so that what you buy may last in time (and, if I may add, it also won’t be dangerous for the environment and your body, as a recent research made on SHEIN clothes found out that a lot of the materials used contain chemicals that are threatening for our organism) ; choose pieces you really like, without focusing on time-limited trends, so to build a wardrobe you will use a lot; try to buy from local, independent brands that share values you see yourself into.
What do you think about all of this, babes? This time, like any other ofc, I’d really love to know what you think about this topic, maybe sharing tips we can all benefit from when shopping!