Buying Vintage; the only real way to be Ethical, Sustainable and (Slow).
Doesn’t it seem like every last aspect of life has some term or definition either coined or associated anymore?
…And ethical and sustainable and slow(fashion). What does all this mean? Are these terms just a days worth of teenage slang or do they lurk deeply in the marketing machine that lives to get their hands in our pockets? Most of them are light terms – your fleaks, wokes and lits – they’re only adjectives. Fomo has some leverage – as one may actually miss out on something, and ugly, as a description, is just downright nasty. (We won’t debate the relevance of Millennials)
However, sustainability and ethics matter and are becoming ever more important for the safety and health of the planet. (We’ll get back to slow in a minute) Sustainability relates to the issues and harm the garment industry brings to the environment – obviously including waste, energy reductions, packaging, transportation, water usage, recycling etc. Ethical issues also include the obvious – labor practices and how garments are produced – think silks, wools, leathers – where they come from and how those animals are treated.
Now, Slow Fashion devotees pride themselves on buying durable and long lasting garments that are produced with care and positive intent. Unfortunately, buying long lasting garments produced with care and positive intent are usually very expensive. However, there is a lesson to be learned from that – that it is far wiser for a consumer to invest himself financially in a garment that will last some time versus buying some cheap junk every few months.
When buying vintage, you’re combining the practices of acquiring sustainable goods within ethical boundaries that were produced in a “slow” manner for a fraction of the price. Stocking your vintage closet keeps new-waste-fast-trash-clothing from ending up in your landfill. There’s a pretty good chance that what you’ll buy was produced in a decent system – made in USA, probably under a union contract that treated its workers and suppliers with fair wages and conditions. And older garments were just made with higher quality materials. Do your millennial bros a favor and buy lit vintage goods.