Conscious consumption: how to buy clothes and not harm nature

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The movement for Conscious consumption is gaining momentum, affecting, among others, the fashion industry. Is it good or bad? Let's figure it out.

What is Conscious consumption?

Conscious consumption is a new philosophy for those who care about the future of our planet. Supporters of the conscious consumption offer consumers a more responsible approach to shopping. And since the textile industry is one of the most harmful to the ecology sectors, activists call upon to think whether it is really necessary to update the wardrobe every year in order to follow latest fashion trends?

What is Fast Fashion?

The key concept to understanding the problem is the term “Fast Fashion”. This term is used by retailers in cases where a company changes its product lines several times during one season. Most often it is applied to mass market, which requires fast and inexpensive production of clothing to attract more consumers. Such firms, for example, include H&M and Zara. Obviously, cheaper production of clothing in large volumes leads to a deterioration of the environmental situation all around the globe.

Who should be responsible?

Activists emphasize that since it is the common problem, it must be solved by joint efforts. Not only consumers should be more conscious and prudent in their purchases, but also global corporations and brands are also required to provide safer and cleaner production. Fortunately, many companies understand it. 32 well-known manufacturers of clothing and accessories have signed Fashion Pact G7. Among the signatories are such eminent brands as Chanel, Burberry, Prada, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, many sports brands and, most importantly, manufacturers of fast fashion - H&M, Zara and others. These brands made a commitment to switch to renewable energy sources by 2050, abandon the use of plastic, as well as to finance and support environmental protection measures.

Who draws attention to the problem?

As part of campaigns that promote conscious consumption lectures, parties and even festivals are organized. For instance, in the penultimate week of August in Moscow at the VDNH exhibition complex, Street Style Week was held. During the week experts reflected on how Fast Fashion causes damage to the environment. Such festivals are organized in many countries around the world, and their organizers urge to buy things in second-hand stores.  It is not embarrassing , on the contrary, the second-hand chain is constantly developing, and in such stores you can often find not only qualitative, but also branded clothing for lower price.

How can I join the movement?

You don’t have to make sacrifices to join the movement for conscious consumption. Thus, the international association Oxfam offers everyone to take part in the Second Hand September campaign, the main purpose of which is to draw attention to the negative effect of “fast fashion” on the environment. The creators of this event encourage people not to buy new clothing throughout September, but to try to take a fresh look at their own wardrobe.

Is it good or bad?

The movement for conscious consumption has many advantages. First of all, it fosters a culture of consumption and a more reasonable approach to shopping. In the future, this may indeed become one of the decisive factors in the fight against global climate change. As a nice bonus, consumers will be able to save money on acquiring unnecessary clothes. On the other hand, September is a busy season for retailers, and excessive desire to participate in such events as Second Hand September may affect their sales. However, isn’t it a fair price for the bright future of our planet?

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