On the previous post, I shared about my journey on becoming a minimalist and making it the theme of my year 2016. As a result, I decluttered my entire apartment and got rid of a lot of unnecessary items. A big chunk of clothes went to charity and few were given to family, friends or sold online. But there are two things I never stopped to question: Where do my clothes come from and where do they go when I donate them?
Thanks to Netflix, I recently watched The True Cost, an eye-opening and heartbreaking documentary about the consequences of fast fashion. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it now. It will make you want to become more intentional about the pieces you buy. The documentary reveals that 80 billion pieces of clothing are purchased worldwide each year accounting to a 400% increase than a decade ago. Additionally, the average American throws away 82 pounds of textile waste each year, and only 10% of the clothes we donate to charity actually get sold. Meaning the other 90% get packed and shipped to landfill sites in developing countries, taking 200 years to decompose whilst releasing harmful gases into the atmosphere. What’s even more disturbing is that fashion—a $2.5 trillion sector—is the second most polluting industry on Earth, right behind oil!!!!!!
In one scene, Rick Ridgeway , Co-Founder of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition discusses the idea of consumerism and happiness, which I found particularly true: “Business through advertising has pulled society along into this belief that happiness is based on stuff; that true happiness can only be achieved with an annual, seasonal, weekly, daily, increase in the amount of stuff you’re bringing into your life.”
I believe it is imperative that we become aware of the long-term impact that our consumerism create. No piece of clothing is more important than human rights or the environment. Now don’t get it twisted. As someone who blog about beauty, fashion and lifestyle presenting you weekly cool things to purchase, I admit I am promoting a form of consumerism. So don’t think I’m preaching to you. However, I am always making sure to the best of my knowledge to blog about companies that do not violate human rights in the making of their products. And this is the main reason why I do not promote fast fashion stores. Change, as Stella McCartney points out in the film, might have to be led by us. “The consumers have to know that they’re in charge,” she says. “If you don’t like it, you don’t have to buy into it.”