Whoa, I can't believe that its already been half a year since I have began my 1 year challenge. When I first started this challenge, I wasn't sure if I would be able to actually follow through with it (hence why I decided to blog about it and keep myself accountable). But honestly, I have been able to learn so much and meditate on some new ideas in the past 6 months that I wouldn't trade for the world. With that said, here are a few things that have been running through my mind:
1) Breaking from the Black & White
If there is one thing I have learned in these past six months is that not everything is black and white. Now I know that this can apply to pretty much everything, but it is especially important to remember when trying to be a conscious consumer.
It has been easy for me to identify certain stores that fall on both extremes on the ethical spectrum , like the difference between Forever21 and Reformation. But it's all the stores in between that I have a harder time discerning.
This past semester, I had the opportunity to research the idea of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) for one of my classes and realized...
No one knows what a socially responsible company is.
What is socially responsible for one company may not be the same for another. An example of this is how Walmart donates a large amount of money annually to various charities, but the quality of their clothes and treatment of their garment workers are incredibly poor. And on the other hand you have U.S. based companies that create jobs for local communities, but they source their products from unethical manufactures.
All of this has been a lot to take in and I am still trying to figure out what actions I believe a company should be take in order for me to comfortably purchase from them. But I still find myself a bit hesitant as I shop.
Because of this, I have only been thrifting for my clothes as a better (not exactly as the best) solution for now until I straighten these ideas out. But with this in mind, I have definitely been struggling with the thought that...
2) "I'm not fashionable enough"
This has been a thought swirling around my head recently and has been hard to shake. Though I don't believe that I am unstylish, it is sometimes pretty difficult to think otherwise when I survey my closet and see that I don't own all the 'trendiest' items out there.
But you know what? That is perfectly ok!
We are not meant to continually shop because 1) it is unnecessary and unsustainable to own every piece of clothing out there and 2) if you are just as broke as I am, you would know it is not financially conceivable to do so. But this has me thinking, how much of our culture ingrains us to think that we have to continually shop in order stay 'in' or continually shop in order to have style. Which leads me to my next point...
3) What is style?
This challenge has forced me to consider what 'great style' really means. Before I had thought it was the person who had a new, banging outfit every time I saw them. And honestly trying to fit into that image is exhausting! But lately I have began to give more credit and appreciation to those who have a simplified wardrobe because that means each piece in their closet was well thought out and chosen.
Style is a matter of arrangement, not the amount of choices you have.
I believe that great style is when you don't have to fit into a mold of what other think you should wear and curate your wardrobe with your signature pieces to tell the story of who you are. Now I am not demeaning shopping, trust me I still love to do so. I am just saying, that shopping (like most things in life) should be moderated. Shopping should be a fun wholesome experience, not an obligation to feel better about ourselves.
Like I said before, I am grateful and proud of the changes and new questions this challenge has brought into my life. It has been a great 6 months and I am stoked for the next ones to come in 2017!