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Recent moves from online retailers to tighten up their returns policies, such as ASOS cutting certain users from ever having an account on their site anymore (read more here if you fancy), shows just how far the fast-fashion consumer issue has gone in the past 10-15 years or so since it’s conception and rapid growth. We live alongside an online world that prowls and judges our appearance to such an extent that people feel that they can only wear each outfit once. It has long been a taboo to re-wear your outfits. ‘Pics or it didn’t happen’ works very much the other way around too. If you post a pic in your new favourite dress, best believe it’s out there now, and it’s done, over. You have one chance to grab your likes on that dress and you cannot possibly wear it again. At least not to an event you want to post pics of.
This is the culture that has driven many fashion e-tailers into financial woes, such as ASOS-again- because their business model allowed the consumer to abuse the system by purchasing outfits to wear once and then simply send back for a full refund. The blogging industry is a big contributor to the problem, with so many now big-time bloggers and Instagrammers putting their online growth down to doing just that and thus being able to afford to post fresh content and outfits daily. And then simply return.
I know.. How ridiculous does that sound? It’s been painted as a normal thing to do, but the reality is that it is a terrible trend with huge logistical costs for retailers, not to mention the carbon footprint of all those parcel movements, environmental problems with the vast amount of packaging that tends to come along with those cheeky impulse buys online. It’s time for us all to re-evaluate this bizarre time we have progressed through as consumers during the past decade or so, and act accordingly to the bigger picture. Not just a tempting cheap impulse.
I’ve touched on this subject a lot, including a post I wrote last year about my top ways to be more sustainable with your fashion habits. Something I don’t think I have delved into too much yet is the culture of being embarrassed to be seen in an item more than once. I’ve definitely fallen into this trap in the past, especially when I used to go out ‘clubbing’ (oh God I actually sound like a Grandma), and always wanted a new dress each time for the club photos. But a long time has passed since then, and I can safely say I’ve discovered so much love for my wardrobe and all the pieces I have added to it over the past year or so for sure. I buy much less nowadays, as I’m super conscious that everything especially on the high street, comes at a much bigger cost to the environment, and the origin community, than the small price that we pay at the till.
Being more selective and conscious with my shopping means that I am only adding items to my wardrobe that I truly love and know can wear over and over and feel great in. That’s what clothes should be for, to make you feel good and express your mood and personality. The clothes we buy should last us years, not months or weeks. We should love to reinvent outfits, and also rock the same outfit over and over, because everything we buy should be something we whole heartedly love. And that’s why in a world of blogging the latest trend, you will always see the same items popping up time and time again on this blog. Never be afraid to re-wear your outfits guys and gals.