Why Your Cheap Clothes Are Like Fast Food

I was reading a blog recommendation on Love Your Clothes by Forte For Fashion called ‘It’s Ok To Wear The Same Thing Twice’. It saddens me that people genuinely think they should only wear something once before it’s wrong. I mean, just how soulless do you have to be to believe in that?

I suppose in the same way that eating that McDonalds burger gives you some kind of weird happiness rush that leaves you guilt ridden as you fall out the door, buying cheap fashion has that short lived lift that leaves you yearning for more of the same after one wear.

And like fast food, fast fashion has found a way to remove the bitter taste of the unsatisfactory production line away from our gaze. In the same way that we don’t worry about battery farmed chickens when we tuck into a KFC, neither do we worry about slave labour in Dhaka.

Like drugs it’s an addiction you just can’t shake off. The good bit which involves little effort on your part (like buying a burger rather than making a meal from scratch) is short lived. And you need it again and again to keep the happiness trip going. That’s what brands rely on. It’s why you’ll hear people with too many clothes complaining they have nothing to wear.

And like your 99p burger, there is no value to a 99p t-shirt. It was 99p. Why should you care?

But just what is it that makes buying cheap and in large quantities a happiness experience? And when did the pride in owning something expensive become such a bad thing? Not so many years ago, so long as it was a trusted label that was good. And if the cost was over the odds, well that just meant quality and you cared for the garment to maximise your useage . Now, it’s all about how much you can get for how little. When did that become such a great thing?

Well it turns out it’s not owning the things that’s the buzz, it’s the process involved. And that’s why fast fashion does so well, it’s stimulation overload. In the same way that you might get a thrill from a rollercoaster ride, reckless purchasing in brightly lit colourful stores with thousands of rails gives an easy access version of that buzz.

But hang on, let’s not forget that I was once guilty of the fashion haul. Hindsight is a beautiful thing. Logically, where did this buying mentality get me? Less space in my wardrobe and a little bit poorer. And certainly not happier.

These days I would rather buy one thing a month that I LOVE and wear every week than 5 things every weekend that I was bored of the week after. The clothes you are buying are cheap because they aren’t worth anything. You didn’t buy something beautiful that was a steal on a sale rail, you bought CHEAP because it was CHEAP before you started. Horrible, generic, uninspiring, conveyor belt CHEAP so that you can look like everyone else who went into the same store and bought the same garment and feel the same way about it a few weeks later.

I have a small selection of prized garments that I genuinely don’t want to get rid of, special occasional wear (I don’t get out that often) and items I will wear again once I’ve nailed this diet I’m on. I also have a reasonable number of mix and match garments that I wear and repair on a regular basis and only replace once I can’t get anymore out of them. And I’m proud of that. I am doing my bit to reduce waste and I know what’s in my wardrobe. Why do I need more?

The simple answer is – I don’t. And believe it or not, neither do you.

For all things Falcieri Designs check out my website at www.falcieridesigns.co.uk

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