By Nina Wilhelmy for Idlewild
What you spend your money on matters. We’re not here to tell you what you should buy or what material things might enhance your daily life in exchange for what is surely hard-earned money. This being said, an understanding of where that money goes and how it might affect you and others is imperative to living in a capitalist world. Chances are that if you’re here, you invest a lot into your wardrobe and personal style, so here are some reasons why it’s important for you to put the same amount of care that you do when choosing what to buy into determining where you source pieces from. The first step is to shop at small and local businesses as opposed to big box retailers and chains.
Let’s talk about ethics (try not to fall asleep–no, seriously, this is important). The most pressing issues when it comes to supporting large fashion corporations are breaches of the consumer’s morals. The mass production of clothing brings about the excessive waste and pollution created by these corporations. Large retailers focus on quantity over quality, and will produce masses of garments to keep up with trends even if they find their way out of your closet and into the landfill by the end of the year. Turning to small businesses who often create small collections designed to last the customer can help you and the planet avoid this tragedy.
You might be willing to kiss your morals goodbye in exchange for the happiness of your wallet since larger retailers are generally more affordable, but in the long run shopping sustainably where you know the product is designed to last is more budget friendly than re-purchasing cheap clothing time and time again. This waste not, want not lifestyle may feel uncomfortable at first, but you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Watch your style adapt from the mundane mainstream and inconsistent to your personal taste to unique and full of staple pieces that you love. Show the people around you that you are an individual with taste who takes care not only in the way they dress, but in the way they spend their money.
This internal growth is amazing, but just as important is helping your community to flourish. Shopping small and local will do wonders for you, and at the same time do wonders for any businesses you might support. Smaller designers are the backbone of current art and innovation, and by backing them in their endeavors we can make the world a more beautiful place. Contributing to this beauty within your city specifically will even bring about a sense of purpose in you. You can support what makes it special and at the same time model it yourself in the form of a unique piece of clothing.
It is never too late to become an agent of change and start shopping small and local. All you have to do is that, start! Simply ask or look around for small businesses in your area and purchase something really special rather than a surplus of overly trendy pieces at a department store next time you are craving something new.