Sustainable fashion

THE REAL COST OF A £30 DRESS

I have a guilty pleasure- I follow an account on Instagram where the creator often shows her mood boards and fashion finds on Instagram stories. She does it very well- you first see a well put together, inspirational mooboard and then, once you feel sufficiently inspired,  you can simply swipe up to purchase an outfit you’ve just seen on the board. An added bonus- the clothes are rarely more than £30.

Despite watching her Instagram stories almost religiously, I’ve never bought any of her recommendations and I never will.  I simply cannot buy a £30 dress because I know that the cost- to everyone else but me, would be much, much greater.

First of all, there is a human cost. We all remember Rana Plaza disaster yet do you know that after a while, things came back to almost the same way they were before the death of over a 1,000 of people? The main factor driving this is a price. Everyone says things like “fair trade”, “fair pay” and “sustainable” and then go to a fast fashion chain and purchase trousers for a few pounds. When customers demand cheap fashion, the simple equation is that to keep the proces down, the workers must earn a pittance.

The other factor is the fabric.  Polyester is cheap to manufacture so if you check garments from fast fashion companies, 98% of their clothes will consist of 100 % polyester. Here, the cost to us is twofold. Firstly producing polyester uses a tremendous amount of fossil fuel. Secondly, polyester is just plastic, heated and forced through spinnerets into fibres. Not only is not biodegradable but when washed, it released tiny microfibres which are too small to be bought by any filters, and travel straight to our rivers and oceans.

I cannot get on board with this and I think we have no right to use the planets resources in this way.  My dad is a politician and he had always thought of himself as a “keeper” of the town he governs. He plans (along with others), invests, thinks about the future of the town and next the next generations of inhabitants. I think we should think of ourselves in the same way- we are keepers of the planet for people who come after us. We can use the resources responsible but we cannot mindlessly plunder everything in sight and abuse others in the process.