COLUMN. As H&M’s infamous Conscious Collection hit stores yesterday and sold like hot cakes, I felt it was just the right moment to do a post I owed this blog for a really long time.
Firstly, I like the idea of reusing clothes but as a studied textile engineer I also know that this is just a drop in the ocean. As the professor of my friends put it a few weeks ago: “The clothes get recycled. That’s good. They’re making something new of it and then the people buy this new stuff, wear it a couple of times and throw it away…”
Ummmm, you see, that exactly is the point I’m trying to make. We buy it, wear it a couple of times and we throw it away. Right from the beginning of at/least this has always been an issue for me: How much clothing should you present on a blog? Don’t the “big fashion bloggers” evoke that having an own apartment for your closet is completely normal? I don’t want to be a hypocrite; to get things straight: I do buy quite an amount of new clothes throughout a year, I do buy these at H&M and I also have been to Primark, yes. And I feel bad for it often, because I should know a lot better.
But not only the amount of clothing is a problem of course. The quality is as well. I find it kind of crazy that people always blame companies for producing low quality clothing for low wages if it’s us who are not willing to spend even five bugs more on a t-shirt. These clothes are made to throw away – and it’s us who accept it like that because we don’t even plan to wear them longer than a season.
When I started to study textile engineering first, I thought that it would give me some answers on… I guess on how to be a better consumer or so. But it didn’t – I just found more things to question. I mean, is there actually a way to buy clothing conscious? That’s kind of like being on a diet and eating a cereal bar instead of one piece of chocolate, isn’t it? It is healthier, but it still has the same calories. “Consciousness”, as it is used by fashion labels, doesn’t solve the problem. The real problem is that we are buying too much.
If we bought less, we could save more money that we could then spend on clothing of higher quality that we could wear longer which would let us buy less, which would save us money on clothing of higher quality [and so on]. That’s the circle we need to be in.
What’s your opinion on this? Do you have any tips on labels producing really conscious? Or generally on how to save the world? I’d really like to hear it.