Caring For The Things We Have & Questions To Ask This Holiday Season
The sustainability narrative often begins with a buy this, not that dichotomy. However, what is often left out of the conversation, is the reality that not buying something is actually the most responsible choice we can make.
We see this intersecting directly with the need to improve and deepen the relationships we have with our belongings. In the era of fast fashion, clothing has often been aligned with disposability, which leads us to disconnect from our garments, since we anticipate them to only be with us for a short period of time.
We should be nurturing deeper relationships with our garments, not treating them like they are disposable. Our clothing does so much for us on a daily basis – from supporting self expression to adding comfort to our lives to keeping us warm, cool, or dry – our garments are with us to experience the highs and lows, as well as the momentous moments of our lives.
Let’s slow down and take a moment to think about the clothes that you really LOVE.
- What is your favorite garment?
- Why do you love it?
- Is there a story connected to it?
- Did you wear it while an important experience took place?
- Does it make you feel good?
- Is it super comfortable?
- Does it make you feel relaxed?
We are often told that “fashion is frivolous” or that “having an interest in fashion is aligned with vanity”. But, we all wear clothes, and allowing ourselves to nurture our relationships with our clothing can help us build foundations that will allow us to take care of them for years to come.
As we enter another holiday season, here’s some questions to remind ourselves of, as the temptation to shop comes at us around every corner –
- Why are you buying this?
- Is this something that can be easily handed down in the future?
- Is this something that will be used or is it just enticing because of the *deal*?
- Do you know if the giftee will use this item? Have you asked them if it’s something they would use?
- How was the item made and what is it made of?
- Do you know anything about the company and their values?
One of the most sustainable things we can do is truly care about the things we own. And when you no longer care about something, find a way to part ways with it. Swap with a friend, hand it over to someone who wants to use it, or donate it.
If we care about the things we own, it inspires us to truly take care of them. This caring mindset leads things to last much longer. Also, when we care about things, we want to use them more often, which brings us joy and nurtures more meaningful memories with those things for years to come.
Written by: Kestrel Jenkins, responsibility consultant & host of the Conscious Chatter podcast.