Twenty Seven

I really don’t like malls. They glorify the excess in our lives and also, there are like a million mirrors coming at you from every bad angle, reminding you that you don’t look like the shiny models which grace the shop windows. Is it just me who feels like that?

Part of my distaste comes from a genuine disinterest in clothes, but a lot of it also comes from knowing that most of the clothes on the racks don’t have ethical stories. I go to the mall because my friends want to but every time I go, I end up wandering aimlessly in stores, feigning interest in items when really, I don’t intend to buy anything at all.

When I was 21, I read a book on human trafficking and the fashion industry and you know when you see something, you can’t unsee it? That was what it was like, and the more I was exposed to it, the more I seemed to stumble across on the subject and I snowballed really quickly into a deep conviction about clothes. I decided then that I would try my hardest to only buy secondhand or fair trade clothing. I’m 27 now and I would say that my wardrobe is 90% secondhand or fair trade.

I don’t have a massive wardrobe but I also don’t have a capsule wardrobe. I always set out to do what I could realistically achieve and for me, that’s meant that over the years I’ve reduced buying clothes that I don’t need and when I’ve needed to, try to source it first from op shops and then from ethical suppliers. From this, I’ve been able to build a wardrobe that is unique and has a lower impact on the planet. There’s still a long way to go though, and it’s hard with friends because sometimes I feel them feel self-conscious around me with the clothes that they buy. I try to not give off judgey vibes and honestly, it doesn’t bother me which brands they buy because for 21 years, that was me. We’re all on our own journeys and right now in mine, I hate malls.

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