Changing my mindset

So, I guess that nobody’s missed the factory fire in Pakistan. 300 people were killed as the management had nailed the windows shut as to prevent slouching during work. I’m sure the conditions are the same elsewhere in these type of factories. The next time I look at the cheap price tag in an H&M or C&A (but how I love thy clothes!) I must remember that the reason the clothing is so cheap is because people are literally risking their lives to produce cheap clothing for me. Do I want to be part of that development? I know that conditions in garments factories are bad, but like many others, I’ve chosen to ignore it to be part of Western civilasation where everything is wear and tear and it’s easy to replace our wardrobes, where we “need” several items just to be happy.

Ever since my first flea market/thrift experience I’ve been toying with the idea of not buying any new fashion clothing for myself (by using “fashion” I effectively exclude underwear, outerwear, basics etc.). Now, to be honest, I haven’t really bought that much new clothing lately, since these thoughts entered my mind, so perhaps I’m halfway there. I just need to get better at thrifting and refashioning. And, of course, I will still sew some of my wardrobe and for that I will use newly produced fabrics even though it may be ethically questionable. Baby steps.

I love the word “thrifting”. Well, not so much the word itself, but rather that there IS a word for the activity. And I want to be a serious thrifter. I want my go-to shop to be a second-hand shop or a flea market. I want to spot the lovely hidden beauties, the refashion potentials, I want to make my wardrobe unique, yet appropriate. What are your best thrifting advice?


4 thoughts on “Changing my mindset

  1. I haven’t done flea markets much, I don’t think they really have them around here, but I have spent a lot of time in thrift stores. My best thrifting advice is the following: Allow yourself plenty of time to go through the racks. Don’t worry so much about sizes (you know how much discrepancy there is in women’s fashion!), but grab and try on everything that catches your eye that looks like it MIGHT fit you. You never know! You definitely have an advantage because you know how to sew, so issues like “this would be perfect if it were shorter/more fitted/etc” are not so much of an issue. (But do check for stains and tears before buying. You don’t want to have to mend things if you don’t have to!) And thrifted clothes are a great way to experiment with refashions, because you’re not potentially ruining your favorite shirt that’s seen better days! Also, keep an eye out for specials– all of my local thrift shops are chain stores, like Goodwill or Salvation Army, but they’ll often run specials like a certain color tag is half price that week. Also, some stores in the same chain are “better” than others– I’ve had surprisingly good luck at one just over the state line (including $11 like-new DKNY skinny jeans!–very shocking considering that Walmart is pretty much the happening place in that town). So just because you don’t find much at one store doesn’t mean you won’t at a different one. Also, go with an open mind. I’ve found that I’ve found much more interesting things, both for wearing as-is and for refashioning potential when I think broader categories, like shirts, instead of specifics, like black button-down shirt.

    Wow, this was basically an entire post, wasn’t it? My final piece of advice: Wash EVERYTHING. Even if it says dry-clean only.

  2. Go for it 🙂 i haven’t bought clothes in 2 years now for similar reasons and i don’t miss it, thats not to say i have a wardrobe of only me mades, i kept what rtw i had at time, just additions have been me made. Next step (after sewing through stash!) is to address fabric manufacturing conditions.
    No helpful thrifting advice, its not something i’ve really done but i would say try to keep mindful in the thrift shopping also, i would imagine its super easy to get caaught in a similar fast fashion cycle from thrift as regular rtw.
    Good luck!

    • Yes, I can imagine it’s just as easy getting caught up in fast fashion. “Luckily” I don’t have a lot of time to just go shopping so I doubt I will spend too much time shopping.

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