Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Let's get down to the nitty gritty

(Warning: Lots of reading and a scantily clad woman below)

I've been feeling a lot of guilt these past few days. I received a lovely email from the people at rant clothing in Melbourne in response to my previous post and comment on not ordering clothing to be shipped overseas from a label who is based on the principle of keeping everything local and green. Which got me thinking: I'm a complete hypocrite. Roughly 95%, if not more, of my clothing is ordered online, and thus has to subsequently be shipped via an unknown number of planes, trains, or automobiles to arrive at my doorstep. Really, the only green thing about the process is my dear mailman, who is practically like a distant relative to me. My recent battle of my conscience against my wallet had to do with ordering a piece which I could've bought at a local shop just down the street, or have it shipped to me direct for $50 less. Is me saving $50 really worth the environmental impact of having it flown here just for me? Sure, the one in the store had to be shipped in too, but at least it was shipped with a few more items. But, at the same time, how much environmental impact does one small shipped package really have (and how much in comparison to a larger package shipped to a store)?

I've been talking myself in circles in my head all morning. Especially because I still think that buying from indie labels, especially those who work in a green manner, is much more environmentally friendly (and not to mention, more ethical) than buying mass produced clothing. Not only is less used and wasted in the process of making the clothing, but you're much less likely to consume clothing for one season and throw it away when you paid more to have something made to your measurements. Hence why I can't get rid of any of my custom made clothing, even when I don't wear it anymore. So what am I saying? I don't know. In reality, I should probably just stop buying clothing for a good long while and make due with the gorgeous wardrobe that I have. And I should try to support Canadian labels a little bit more when I do feel the need to spend money, to at least cut down on international shipping effects. Which isn't really too hard, as my list of favorite designers/labels has been enjoying a more decent Canadian representation lately (complexgeometries, Mandula, mono, David Chou, and Norwegian Wood). However, I don't really think I'm strong enough to do that, as there's a large portion of my favorite designers who do not live in my country, and I don't feel like I can contently live without another new creation from them. Hmm. Perhaps I convince my favorite designers to draft up reconstructive .pdf patterns so that I can turn their old pieces into new ones, à la Marge Simpson and her Chanel suit. Or perhaps I should scrap clothing altogether and go the route of Digna Kosse's minimal dress (or at least create similar pieces from the scraps of my current wardrobe when I've finally worn it to shreds). I might have to quit my job though.

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