A Shift Towards Sustainable and Ethical Style
Back in July, just a couple of months into rebranding my blog, I stopped blogging. It seemed like a sudden and spontaneous decision to many, but in reality it was a deliberately thought over hiatus with the aim of finding harmony within some of the contradictions that had emerged between the style section of my blog and the other sections like "mindful living" and "lifestyle + culture." Whereas the latter sections were consistent with my values and beliefs, the posts in the style section, weren't, on multiple counts.
I've tried to adopt the "less is more" philosophy with my belongings, with the people around me, and with the things I involve myself in. While I have even been advocating the "less is more" ideal on other sections of my blog, everything about the style section was about more. More posts, more outfits, more brands, more everything.
Where minimalism attempts to help people distinguish between needs and wants, the fashion/style industry thrives on blurring the line between want and need. Somehow the industry has us believing that we need new clothes every season (it doesn’t help that there are now 52 micro seasons.) Minimalism isn't just about having less though, it is also about using what you do have to the fullest, with the goal of deriving the maximum value out of each one of your belongings, and not discarding them until you absolutely have to, which makes the whole ecosystem of producing these more sustainable. Again, the fashion industry is built on the opposite model, where what you buy is only good until the next fashion show. If all of this wasn't bad enough, the clothes you keep cycling through are made in some of the most unfavorable working conditions, so that you get the product at a price point you can't refuse.
I’ve spent the past few weeks introspecting and soul searching, hoping to find a way out of these contradictions. The more time I spent the clearer it became that I’d have to make a conscious shift towards sustainable and ethical style. It’s not going to be easy, but I want all my outfit posts to eventually be sustainable and ethically manufactured. Since access to ethically manufactured clothes in India is really limited, I will be taking a phased approach to this shift. I would have loved for it to be a radical shift where everything I’m wearing in my posts is ethically manufactured and sustainable, but this would result in another contradiction (buying a bunch of new ethically manufactured clothes wouldn’t be so sustainable now would it?)
Needless to say, since the "Garb" section within style is focused on other people, the focus of those posts will be on the distinctiveness and individuality of their outfit (but sustainable and ethically manufactured outfits get brownie points!)
Sustainability & Ethics Note
The kurta is almost 5 years old and is from Fab India, a company known for sourcing designs through artisanal workshops in rural India. Chinos are from H&M and were traded for a bag full of old clothes that they will be recycling. Sneakers are by Vans and are almost a decade old.