Fashion 1 0 1: Part 14

Start to think about your clothes like they were made to last. Head fashion designers keep saying that fashion should not be disposable. So, start to clean your clothes the right way: it’s different for polyester and cotton and wool. Tags will help you decide what to do and then there is the internet to dig through for detailed instructions. I always use the handwash mode on the machine for washing all my clothes and also I never put them in the dryer – the result is I use the same clothes for more than 15 years. If you own a piece for so long that it got damaged over time, then remember that you can shave the pilling on a sweater, patch a hole on the elbow and if you lost weight then all your clothes can be adjusted for the new measurements. Some things you can do on your own while it is better to have others done by a professional. A lot of skirts that you see on this blog were a size or two bigger, they have been adjusted to fit my new measurements. Why is this important? You’re caring for the environment because you’re limiting trash production. You’re also supporting local artisans and so, helping people whose jobs are going extinct. For example, I always go to a cobbler to get my broken shoes fixed but many people choose to throw away things in the excitement of buying new stuff.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not condemn shopping, it builds and nourishes the economy. But here is a thought, in the good old days people got their clothes mended from tailors, shoes fixed from the cobbler, got small little parts of a blender and stuff from the dingy little stores located in some tiny alleys – this all paid the small local businesses. Now the mentality is we are looking for something to go wrong with our stuff so that we can buy new stuff and throw away the old stuff.

I do not condemn shopping but I condemn the stigma attached to repeating clothes, needing something new to wear to every party, having things in the closet with their price tag on and yet complaining about having nothing to wear, throwing away stuff without even trying to get it fixed first and just mindless shopping for self-gratification or shopping for the sake of having-everything-everyone-else has.

The clothes that live with you for a long time, get a lot of stories ingrained in them. One of my childhood friends wore skirts that her mother used to wear when she was in college. Those skirts were a different fashion altogether, they were unique because they were not in the market at that time and she got a lot of compliments on her clothes and a lot of surprised reactions when she said this is my mother’s skirt. So if you’ve ever been given a garment worn by your grandmother or your grandfather in their youth, you know what I am talking about. Also, it is good for the pocket – you can save money and rather spend it on some good things like real estate and health!

‘The true cost’ is a very good documentary on this topic. I highly recommend it.

This is the last part of the series.

Jeans: American Eagle, Shoes: DSW, Jacket: Zara

Rasika Mahabal

Hi! My name is Rasika Mahabal. I was born and brought up in India before moving to Seattle. Thanks for visiting my website, you can find more information about my page in FAQs.

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