Do you shop in regular intervals of time, or only when you need to? Before you enter a store, do you know why and what exactly you need to purchase?
Clothing brands compete against each other by mass producing clothing and putting out new collections every once, twice or sometimes several times a season, a phenomenon more commonly called ‘Fast fashion’. The leads to a heightened temptation to make a purchase, thereby increased consumerism in the retail market. This phenomenon along with falling prices and disposable clothing are creating more waste with every passing year. These are adequate signals warning the possibility of an exponential growth of textile dumping in India, due to changing local trends and lack of prohibitive laws. The rising and largely unaware phenomenon of textile dumping has reached such magnanimous volumes that leads us to the point that textile collection and old textile treatment is not a solution.
The solution is to change consumerism, and the first step is to stop impulsive purchases.
Plan your wardrobe with a long term view. If you need something for a special occasion, you could first look out for renting or borrowing options. Fashion rental startups have started becoming popular nowadays in India too. We prefer borrowing against renting since renting system involves dry cleaning, which is chemical intensive. In case you desire to have something new for casual wear, think about repairing your old clothes, or innovative ways to remake your existing clothes. If you have a repairing kit at home, you can even mend your clothes yourself through some basic steps. If no innovative solution works out, you can swap your good clothes with your friends or attend a clothes swapping event, or visit a thrift shop where second hand clothes are available for purchasing.
Likewise, if you have clothes that you have grown tired of – you can think of passing on to friends or relatives, or drop it in a secondhand store, swap-shop or charity organization. If you have clothes that are too worn out for reuse – donate it to textile recycling via a collection box or in any charity organisation’s local store.
If you still need to buy, Dwij brings you a purchase checklist i.e. the most important parameters to reflect prior to making a purchase.
The purchase checklist is not a shortcut towards frugal spending, it is a solution to tackle the increasing menace of consumeristic culture created during the last few decades.
The underlying concept of the checklist is to encourage the consumer to create a long term view behind every purchase. It begins with questioning ourselves whether do we really desire to purchase this? This is important not just for the present moment. Does the purchase really match my needs and preferences over a long period of time?
In the age of fast fashion, manufacturers seldom pay attention to durability. A highly durable product ensures that the product can at least be used by someone else, in case you wish to discard.
A cotton garment takes approx. 6 months to 1 year to decompose. Other natural fibers such as wool, silk, lyocell or hemp too fall in a similar category. In contrast, a synthetic garment such as acrylic, nylon, polyester or other petroleum based elements take anywhere between 20 years to 200 years to decompose. Applying some basic math, its logical that you should be wearing your synthetic garment around 100-200 more times than a natural fabric garment.
Do we really do that?
Look out for such ones where the fabric can be remade into another outfit with a trendy design, once you are bored of the existing one.
Upcycling is a process of converting an garment into another value added item by retaining the original characteristics of the fabric. Recycling is the process of transforming the original material into a new form. For these processes, it is preferred that the material be of a single type. Look out for products that are designed for disassembly. Look out for garments that can easily be repaired or stitched back. Do you know whether the brand that you are purchasing is known for its sustainable and ethical practices? This also includes having socially respectful working condition across its entire supply chain.
Of course, there cannot be a perfect solution for everything that you wear, all that we advise is “Make Mindful purchase”!