Today starts Fashion Revolution Week. One year ago I started my journey towards a more sustainable and ethical wardrobe. One year isn’t long, but it has taught me so much and it made me even more conscious about the world around us.
I’ve been eating vegetarian for quite a few years now. This started out of health reasons, but not shortly after, I learned more about the climate and animal welfare facts. As I continued researching these kind of topics, I also came across the documentary The True Cost on Netflix.
This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make those clothes and the impact it’s having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking new documentary film that pulls back the curtain on an untold story and asks us each to consider, who pays the price for our clothing?The True Cost
How can we harvest cotton, produce the fabrics, sew the clothes, transport the collections and sell them in actual stores all around the world for less than 10 euros? The answer is: we can’t.
The price is not corresponding correctly to the costs that has been made. The costs are paid by the garment workers that don’t earn enough to create a living. The costs are paid by Mother Nature that is being polluted, every time we buy an extremely cheap item. Every euro, every dollar, every whatever currency you have, is a vote. We have to learn how to use this more wisely, so we can make a change.
We need a revolution: in fashion, food and consumption
The planet needs a revolution. Yes a revolution in fashion, but also a dietary revolution and a consumption revolution in general. We have to slow down. This acceleration didn’t make us more happy. Do you feel happy for purchasing a jeans for 10 euros? I mean long term happy. Has eating fast food made you more happy? Has overconsumption made you more satisfied? I wasn’t happy or satisfied in the end. My whole closet was filled with trash that breaks down very fast, because fast fashion isn’t made to last. My house was filled with cheap furniture that everyone has, because a certain company sells millions of the same trash to everyone. My fridge was filled with fatty foods, that only bring short term pleasure. I needed to change my habits. Not only for myself, but for the planet too. Mother Nature isn’t happy either with the over-consumptive society we live in.
How can we do so?
It is very hard to change habits. I know. I am still not able to do sports three times a week 😉 But we CAN change habits. It’s not impossible. So what do we need for this?
- We need motivation.
- We need knowledge.
- We need supporters.
Why do you want to change your habits? Do you want to live more conscious with the world around you? Do you want a more balanced life? Do you want to learn to stay true to yourself under the pressure of marketing and constant trends? Find a right answer on why you want to make a change. Only then, you will be able to stay focussed. My motivation is staying true to myself and inspiring other with this journey.
But then, we also need knowledge. This helps you to find ways to adopt new habits. New information leads to new insights. If you know eating fast food isn’t good, you need knowledge to find out what IS good. Documentaries are a great way to gain more knowledge. I can recommend the following documentaries.
Must see documentaries:
- The True Cost – about fast fashion (ENGLISH)
- Cowspiracy – about factory farming (ENGLISH)
- Minimalism – about a journey of buying and owning less (ENGLISH)
- A plastic Ocean – about the plastic pollution (ENGLISH)
- In their Shoes – about shoe makers in India (INDIAN)
- #Powerplant – about vegan initiatives for a brighter future (DUTCH)
- What the Health – about the food industry (ENGLISH)
- That Sugar Film – about the influence of sugar (ENGLISH)
- Climate Change the Facts – about climate change (ENGLISH)
- De Prijsvechter – about our consumption society (DUTCH)
- Complicit – about the sickening industry behind mobile phones (CHINESE)
If you want to walk fast, walk alone. If you want to walk far, walk together.
It’s much easier to continue your journey, if you are supported by a group of like minded people. This can be offline, but also online. We are in a world where we can connect easily to people from all over the world. Take advantage of this. You can find communities on Instagram, Facebook, blogs, YouTube, whatsoever. Look for people that inspire you to do better. Surround yourself with people you can learn from and you will automatically gain more knowledge, inspiration, motivation.
The art of slowing down
I am trying to slow down. It is hard. Our western society has a lot of expectation, that are most often not important ones, but still, you feel pressured. We have to do so much. They say: succes is a choice, so if you’re not successful, it’s your own fault. But then, what is success? Is it having a lot of clothes, a walk-in closet? Is it driving around in a big car? Is it buying a new phone every time a new one is being released? Is success connected to materialism?
I am trying to find new definitions for my personal success. I am successful when I’m happy with who I am. Yesterday my mum asked me: if you could do ANYTHING you want, there are no boundaries, what would you do? And I said: I would work in a coffee bar and work on my blog. This is exactly what I am doing right now.
I had not expected myself being so satisfied with the here and now. I always thought satisfaction was something for later. When you’re young you’re always thinking of more and the next. Funny enough, that’s not true.
We can be young and be satisfied. We have to appreciate what we have. Less but better.
Are you willing to start your journey?