Elizabeth & James Blazer
Robert Clergerie Shoes
Fallon necklace – new from Barney’s Co-Op
Yesterday for the Texas Style Council conference, I was part of a discussion group on Creative Consumerism with Elissa, Pamela & Merl, so to be especially appropriate, I wore one of my OLDEST pairs of shoes, and everything else I got from MOSS designer consignment.
There’s no real clear definition of Creative Consumerism, actually, I think Indiana just made it up, but it’s a good term. I’m not much of a thrifter (although I’m getting better), so being a responsible and creative consumer to me, means keeping things for many years, buying quality second-hand designer & vintage pieces, and thinking very carefully about what I buy and where it comes from. I also try to purchase items that I know I can re-sell or donate when I’m finished with them (yes, I’m fickle when it comes to my wardrobe sometimes)
You don’t have to buy used to be a responsible consumer – you can make an effort to buy from local artisans & boutiques, buy items made in the USA (or whatever country YOU live in), but overall it’s about educating yourself on the impact the choices you make have on the environment and everyone sharing it with you.
I’ve been an advocate for years of buying based on cost-per-wear as opposed to cost-right-now and I still think that’s the smartest way to buy, but I also understand that there are times you want something fun & trendy, not necessarily something that will last forever. Instead of going to Forever21 or Zara, etc. for these items why not buy vintage, or thrift them? Items that are sold at vintage stores, consignment boutiques or thrift stores have been around the block a few times, so you know you’re getting a relatively high-quality garment right from the start.
Even if you do decide to buy every once in a while from Forever21, at least educate yourself about their company – how workers are treated, their environmental impact, etc. so you’re not ignorant of the affect your choices have. I’m not saying this is only important with giant chain stores either, it’s important to know what goes on in the garment industry in general, luxury & contemporary designers included. When you’re buying, pay attention to how an item is constructed and what it’s made out of. Many women have items from Zara or H&M that have lasted for years – it’s just a matter of the type of material and how well the garment is put together how long something lasts. I can tell instantly if a Splendid or James Perse tee will last or not; the thinner ones never do well over several years, the 100% cotton tees still go strong.
Tell me, what does “Creative Consumerism” mean to you? how are you a responsible consumer? What are some of the lowest cost-per-wear items in your closet? (mine are the shoes I’m wearing above – I’ve had them for nearly 7 years and have worn them more times than I can remember…)