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Friday, March 7, 2014

The Philosophy of a Wardrobe

Continuing in the vein of the Wardrobe Architect series -- I want to take a look at how my personal philosophy influences the way I dress. Sarai asks, "How does your philosophy, spirituality, or religion affect your aesthetics and buying habits? Or, what aspects of those things would you like to see reflected [in your wardrobe]?"

I am a Christian, but I never particularly considered how that plays into my personal style. When I was younger, it meant that I dressed more modestly -- but I no longer apply this too heavily. Now, what does being a Christian mean for my wardrobe? I think that, more than my beliefs about Christianity, my beliefs about being a good human being play into my personal sense of style.

While previously I'd spent a lot of money on fast fashion -- cheap, easy to buy, easy to wear, quick to fall to pieces -- I've started thinking about my clothes as investments. If I buy quality pieces that feel nice, look nice, last, and cost a little more money, I'm more likely to have my items of clothing around for a longer period of time. I feel like this is a good thing because being wasteful is never good! I'm always disappointed with my Forever 21 that fall into disrepair quickly and must be thrown away.

On top of this, I recently started realizing that those same fast fashion stores are so cheap because they employ cheap labor! There are so many chains (Forever 21 included) that don't even pay their garment workers a living wage, and don't keep track of the way their workers are taken care of. In fact, recently, a fire in a garment factory in Bangladesh caused several companies (one such being Zara) to create and sign a code of ethics that enforces better quality work environments -- people passed away in this fire, which was due to unsafe working conditions.

Because of my growing knowledge in this area, I strive to make myself aware of where the clothes I am buying come from. Two posts prior, I wrote a blog entry about ethical fashion which included a list of companies who are better to buy from than others. I also provided links to helpful sites which can help track the production of garments for various companies, and give the consumer more of an insight as to each company's policies, procedures, and social ethics.

I've cared about cruelty-free makeup for so long... I think it's time that I care about cruelty-free fashion, too. I don't want to wear clothing that was made based on the suffering of other human beings. I want garment workers to make fair, living wages, in safe, quality work environments -- and because of this, I choose the places I buy from carefully. I want to support those companies that align with my ideals, and I want to avoid giving money to those that do not.

Overall, I want to ensure that the clothes that I wear are created in a way that benefits those that make them -- or I want to promote the re-use of clothing by buying second-hand -- or I want to know that the labor required to make my clothes is fair simply by making them myself.

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