Conscionable Christmas Clothing

Conscionable+Christmas+Clothing

JASPER WRIGHT

Over the past 20 years we’ve witnessed the mercurial industry of fast fashion both blow up and receive great blowback. Many of the world’s largest fast fashion retailers including Forever 21 and H & M, have faced public outrage for their well publicized factory working conditions, often consisting of long, grueling work days for less than one dollar per hour pay. Starting with sweatshops hidden away in NYC’s lower east side and having evolved into one of the world’s most exploitative industries, fast fashion has become one of the largest contributors to pollution of the planet.

While many people are of the opinion that sweatshops offer safe and easy jobs for uneducated workers, it’s important to look at all the unethical practices which take place in the industry. Sure, third world countries do need to improve their economy, but that doesn’t mean those who are less fortunate should be placed in the situation of having to make extreme cuts in pay and workplace safety in order to compete with the other factories. While competition may be healthy in countries with a strictly enforced and sustainable minimum wage, the likelihood that someone in Sri Lanka or Tunisia is being paid enough to support themselves is slim to none.     From weaving naturally farmed cotton and wool by hand to genetically modifying cotton plants and risking the lives of factory workers, this industry has spiraled into a state of pure greed and exploitation. 

Now’s the time to begin cultivating a deliberate and sustainable wardrobe. Used clothing marketplaces such as Ebay and Grailed are rapidly growing in popularity amongst people seeking long lasting and idiosyncratic clothing. Expanding one’s knowledge of fashion is a never ending pursuit as the industry is always in flux. However, if looking for a place to start, publications like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar are a great place to begin. From learning about trends and the ethos of the industry one can quickly develop a discerning eye for aesthetics of an outfit. Through the simple act of purchasing one to two well made pieces of clothing per month, one’s wardrobe can evolve from being a hallmark of America’s fast fashion gluttony to a visceral expression of personality through mindfully manufactured and purchased clothing.