When you see the word investment, what do you feel? It used to seem like a word out of reach for me. I used to think that I didn’t have enough money to make investments, like it was only for people who understood the stock market (not me, but actually it’s a lot easier to understand than you’d think!).
Luckily, a few years ago through an incredible business mentor, that changed into “Wow, I don’t have enough money NOT to be making investments”. I strive towards the most peaceful, low-stress life I can (for reasons of medical wellness), and financial stress is some of the worst and most difficult to overcome. I have been throughout my life, the queen of budgeting. I can create and stick to a budget with the best of them, as well as have multiple mental tricks for saving money; those two things were simple and easy for me. Investing, though, is a new step beyond that which makes your money go even further, and I’m thankful I had it well explained to me. Your mindset can take a life changing turn from financial stress by implementing three (seemingly obvious) words: Budget, Savings, Investment. I hope that I can address here one of many ways to invest: in your wardrobe.
Of course, in a nutshell, investing is spending more money at once, to ultimately spend less money over all, OR spending a little money now, in order to make more money in the future than you would have, otherwise. The intention of investment pieces, is that you will be spending less money buying quality, well-made pieces than you would be over time buying cheaper things you’d have to eventually throw away. The objective is to have less waste—financial waste, fabric waste, waste at all. Investing means not being wasteful.
It helps the Earth. The fashion industry is considered by the UNCTAD to be the second most wasteful and globally harmful industry. An article on the site Fashion Revolution reads, “Shockingly, every second, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned globally.” Fast fashion is a huge culprit, of course. By providing customers with the “latest trends”, they create a rapid turnover, causing the average American buyer alone to throw out around 81lbs of clothing per year, according to a study in 2015 by the Saturday Evening Post. You can also think before you buy, is this something I can see myself wearing in a year? Playing around with trends can fun, but consider this: Fashion For Good states, “...by wearing your clothes for an extra nine months, you can reduce waste and water usage by 20-30 percent”.
- It saves us money. Also, we’re striving for sustainability in our individual lives, personally- because if you buy better pieces, you need fewer pieces, and spend less money. That’s why I say (and I think a lot of people also say) a staple wardrobe is a sustainable wardrobe. However, this usually means you’re paying the larger amount at one time, or closer together (payment options are available in our store, by the way!), rather than spreading it over the course of a year. I know that sometimes that can be difficult to do, but the main line to keep close to your heart here is Buy better, buy fewer. The better you buy, the fewer you’ll need, because the less often those things will break, or tear, or whither, and need to be replaced.
Here, we also use natural textiles-linen and silk- and will continue to follow that pattern in the future, which look and feel BETTER the more they’re worn, not the other way around. These are hopefully pieces you’ll have for years and years. In the designs you’ll see in our store, you’ll notice they’ve been made to have adjustable sizing, allowing them to ebb and flow with the growth and loss your body is naturally and inevitably bound to experience over the years of use. When shopping here, or for clothes elsewhere, follow a similar pattern: ethically and sustainably made durable fabrics like good linen, wool, silk- or any recycled material. Recycled is always the best option, natural fabrics are the second best. Just never polyester if you can help it.
What you wear is just one way to invest in a healthier financial life and a healthier Earth. The food you buy, HOW you buy and use food, whether you bought or rent your home, your vehicle, the activities you spend money on (at what point of frequency in renting a kayak should I just buy a kayak?) etc. etc. etc. can also play a huge part in living a more sustainable life. This is just the first step.