2020 is officially the year of reconsiderations. Given the extensive number of lockdowns, people have gotten ample time to re-think and contemplate life choices. As a result, post-lockdown, there seems to be an emergence of a more conscious style of living.
Recently, I came across the concept of an online thrift store, and I was amazed at how many people on my list were already following them. The avid googler in me did not hesitate to read up on the concept, and I realised that I was rather late to find them.
But the discovery of online thrift stores led me to realise a global issue at hand. (No, I am not talking about corona!) The problem is that of fast fashion.
Every fashion trend has a life pattern - the runway, stores, closet and landfills. But the lifecycle becomes troublesome because of the nature of fashion. Fashion trends change quickly making older clothes useless for the conscious ones. Fast fashion is also cheap quality, low price, mass-produced and machine-made, leading to accumulation of large amounts of fashion waste every year.
Is there a solution?
If fast fashion is mass-produced and machine-made; sustainable fashion is the opposite of it. Handmade clothing, made out of quality and eco-friendly fabric is the basis of sustainable fashion. These clothes are often recycled, repurposed and made out of upcycled materials.
But the problem with sustainable fashion is the price-point. Organic clothing and accessories are more often than never a little over the budget. Especially for the youth addicted to online offers and fast-changing trends, sustainable clothing comes as an expensive investment. And this bad habit is a difficult one to get rid of.
Even if we do manage to procure sustainable fashion clothing, the issue of fast-moving fashion continues to persist. Then be it an international brand or a local store, we are contributing to the increasing amounts of waste generated.
But how do you make conscious fashion choices without burning a hold in your pocket? The answer is not one but many. Right from choosing the correct store to ensuring lasting usage; conscious fashion is more than a choice but a process.
Here's what The Bridge Chronicle suggests:
Shop right: Shopping is not just about buying new clothes but buying pieces that last a long time. Investing money in timeless pieces can help clothes last longer as compared to the always on the move trends. Handcrafted ensembles and organic fashion textile now offer choices in both Indian and western wear. Try dabu, kalamkari, ikat and other indigenous fabrics make for an excellent choice.
Thrift-stores: Thrift stores are now garnering the attention they should have received long back. Though occasionally considered to be selling used clothes, these days they often sell export items that are declined by companies. Also, thrift stores make for a good buy when you are not looking to invest a lot of money.
Use and reuse: Apart from buying consciously, it is also necessary to use and reuse old clothes effectively. Use an old sarees or dupattas to make a new dress. Trading clothes with the less fortunate or donating them is also another option to consider.
It's not just your clothes: It's not just about the clothes but also the accessories and shoes that people often load up. An effective way to discard older shoes is to donate them to NGOs and companies that make bags and other household items from the waste.
The power of buying less by buying better: Often underestimated but there is a power in buying less while buying better. And it applies to all forms of shopping. Buying something cheaper, for the time being, is often light on the pocket but never long-lasting. Instead, investing in a good standing timeless pieces ensures but quality and longevity.
We also curated a list of online thrift-stores to help you find:
@bombayclosetcleanse should be a winner when it comes to both Indian and western clothing. The shop promises a 100 per cent charity sale where all the profits get donated towards a cause. Its sustainability, charity and great fashion - all at once.
2. Mumbai Thrifts:
If retro is your style, then @mumbaithrifts is the page to visit. Loaded with vintage skirts and rockband t-shirts; there are a plethora of options to choose.
3. Oakark Thrift:
With winters around the corner, @oakark_thrift is the place to shop for all your winter essentials. Find the most elegant and timeless overcoats, sweatshirts, hoodies and much more -- all at bare minimum expense.
4. Curated findings:
The one thing I hate about shopping at fast-fashion stores is that you could find ten other people in the vicinity wearing the same t-shirt. But with @curated.findings you fashion is bound to stand out wherever you are.
If skirts and cardigans speak to you, then you are sure to love @holymollythriftstore. Offering an array of vintage plaid skirt and pastel sweaters - this online shopping place is a heaven for the fashionista in you.
So online shopping now has a new definition, I guess!