-written by Teja Arigela (@theclassywuman)
Did you ever pay close attention to the advertising e-mails in your inbox?
The subject lines most certainly read – *SAVE up-to 60%* *Everything under $30* *DEALS of the day*. Brands use these salesy lines as they are aware that these are the quickest marketing strategies to sneak into our wallets! And why the word SALE has become such a huge marketing phrase? Because unconsciously, we long ago shifted from noticing the value of a product to just seeing the price. But if we pause and THINK BEYOND THE PRICE TAG at that impulsive moment, these random SALES are not real DEALS that we can actually be proud of. For ex: A $10 t-shirt purchased at a sale that only survives 5 washes is much expensive than a $20 t-shirt that lasts a lifetime.
Understanding this little but mighty difference will steer us towards making mindful choices.
Ok, now let us shift our attention from how brands are tricking us to how we can do slow fashion in a predominantly fast fashion market.
-Choosing quality over quantity
Quality over quantity does not resonate with many of us when it comes to clothing. Because we all want to sport multiple trends every season just like the fav celebrity or influencer we see on the gram. Wanting to sport every trend from the ramp is again a very false idea that is consistently sold to us by mass media and social media.
Fast fashion heavily banks on this dogma and bring us cheaply made clothes at stunningly low prices. These tempting price tags pull us into a never-ending cycle of buying and trashing ignoring the quality altogether.
Instead, if we intentionally scout for well-made pieces and begin to build long-term relationship with our wardrobe, we can put to rest, the throw away culture we are all unconsciously schooled into.
-Choosing brands that release fewer collections per year
Did you know that fashion brands produce about 52 micro seasons per year? Yes, a massive 52 micro seasons. This is a huge shift from the 2 season (summer and winter) clothing we as kids, are familiar with. These massive clothing is then marketed to us in one of the first mentioned tricky subject lines totally hiding the real cost i.e., water, chemicals, land, and the non-ethical practices that goes into making them.
We can turn this around by choosing brands that release fewer collections per year or by purchasing clothes from small businesses. As small businesses don’t run on massive scale, the amount of natural resources used or waste generated is comparatively very less.
-Not to be duped by a fake sale:
A sale is genuine only if it is floated during the end of a financial year or during a major festive season. Instead, If you see it popping in your inbox every fortnight, it’s a mere marketing gimmick. There are many other marketing techniques brands use to keep their cash registers ringing (which altogether makes for a separate blog post), but a basic understanding that we don’t SAVE but SPEND if we shop at every random SALE is good enough.
Teja is a Clinical researcher by profession and an Entrepreneur by passion. After working in the health-tech sector for 6 long years, she took a break and started her own clothing label for the love of fashion. Her initial days of work in the field of fashion made her realize the negative impact of fast fashion on the planet. This pushed her to move towards slow fashion and advocate it at every possible chance. In her free time, Teja writes about sustainable living and conscious consumerism on her Instagram. On a relaxed, work free day, you will see her playing with her 5 year-old daughter. To know more about her, follow her work @theclassywuman