by Tessy Morelli
We know that reducing our fashion footprint is a critical step that needs to be taken to reduce carbon emissions, so why do we find it so difficult to give up our ASOS addictions in favour of more ethical practices?
One good lesson I’ve been taught since I was a child is to take care of what I have before desiring something else.
It’s a lesson that hasn’t been easy to accept. Back in the 2000s when I was a teenager and all my friends main weekend’s activity was to go shopping with their parent’s cash, always wearing the most fashionable clothes, I was forced to sneak into my mum’s, auntie’s, and grandma’s closets in order to find something “new” to wear the next weekend.
I started to be defined by everybody as “creative”, “extravagant”, “strange”; it wasn’t a choice. I deeply wanted to be more like them but I had no other choice than to make of that imposition my identity.
But this isn’t a sad story.
I was just a young woman coming from a family of not-conventional people in a small town in the north of Italy, where “being conventional” was the highest standard.
And then times arrived and I moved to Milano for my studies in architecture, there is where I first discovered fast fashion!
I was “finally independent” and my priority quickly became to be able to buy all the amazing clothes and accessories shining behind the windows of the central streets. I soon got a job at Rinascente Duomo, the pinnacle of glamorous lifestyle stores in Milano at the time, and then began my process of buying, disposing, accumulating, and again buying…
Moving to London a few years later, at the packing moment, I had to realise I had a problem. I was compulsively spending and never satisfied with my closet whenever I had to put an outfit together and go out.
That’s when the old lesson came to my mind and I decided it was time to make a change: “fashion” couldn’t be an obsession, it had to be my first ally on my daily activities. Plus, I couldn’t be wasting so much time around clothing anymore, I needed more time to focus on things that mattered to me on an other level.
I wanted to make a difference and I knew I wanted to move my steps into a sustainable lifestyle.
I started selecting from my wardrobe, selling and giving away all the unused and I won’t never use (again) garments. I spent hours, days, months before realizing that it was very clear what I loved to wear: there was a defined pattern in terms of shapes, colours and textures in my wardrobe, that was my style.
I didn’t need all the rest of the subsidiary elements. Starting then I set some shopping questions before purchasing a new garment:
Do I feel great wearing it?
Is this “me”?
Will I love it season after season?
Does it fit me the way it makes me feel comfortable?
Does it complement with other pieces in my closet?
And that became a mission. I call it #USEITMORE and it’s my gift for you.
It’s all about switching from the pleasure to possess to the pleasure of being creative with the collection of pieces carefully stored in your closet. And it really feels amazing!
It’ll make you feel good with yourself and the people around you, it’s an ethical practice that will reduce the fashion footprint. It involves the interest in making selection for quality and values, instead of seasonal trends. It has the power to go against the rules of fast consumerism that implies unethical and unsustainable practices, plus will offer you a lot more spare time to use for more mindful activities and personal development. Isn’t that enough?