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The Greed Grinch Meets Sustainable Chic

December 2, 2016 4 Comments

Frida gets dressed

Frida gets dressed

The advertising industry fills the consumer’s mind with dreams of more consumption. That is the job of propaganda, to convince the public to buy more of everything. We now discard our clothing and buy more than ever at a faster rate.  Disposable fashion is a good example of how we rape the earth’s resources without subtracting the loss from our ever expanding GDP. We buy the cheapest clothing with the plan of wearing it only a few times before moving on to more new outfits available at very low prices.

There are some of us who object to the whole trend because it results in poorly made garments.  Locavores like me are bringing up the concept of sustainable chic as a fashion standard.  The Primark Effect refers the growing danger of discarded fiber in the landfills around the world.  We have begun to throw out clothes at a dangerous rate of speed.  The handcrafted garments of the past are giving way to cheap, poorly made and designed goods produced with slave labor in the third world.  Disposable fashion is a real and growing thing.  The only real winners are the companies producing these cheap products and their retail outlets.

My first choice for wardrobe shopping is thrift shopping.  It is a sport for me to find classic, well made garments for good prices.  The older clothing can be exquisitely well made with fine tailoring that is not common these days.  I like all kinds of finds, but the older the better if it is still in good shape to use.   I still enjoy sewing from time to time because it is a pleasure to bring a garment to life from scratch.  My fashion philosophy is to acquire and take care of unique, well-made goods that will last for a long time.  I prefer that they be previously owned or come to me in the form of a piece of lovely fabric and some buttons. I like to feel that nobody else can ever show up dressed like I am. How do you shop for your clothing, gentle reader?  Have you given any thought to the effects our cheap clothing has on the economy and the environment?

Tony Hsieh

September 16, 2012

Tony Hsieh of Zappos

On my recent tour of Zappos headquarters in Henderson NV I was treated to a glimpse of Tony Hsieh himself. As I departed with my shuttle driver for the ride back to town he was entering the building I was exiting. I stared for a moment to make sure he was himself.  I had a fleeting question in my mind about the possibility that a hologram of Tony is somehow implanted into each person’s visit, but they are all prerecorded and projected on a green screen or something.  He was low key, in jeans, and moving along with purpose.  He did have the presence of mind not to be sitting in his desk when the tour comes along, but I was very excited to see him.  It is hard to describe the way I think of his celebrity and my connection to it.  I have been a shoe lover forever, but this is so much more than just shoes.

I admire him for his mastery of alchemy in capitalism.  I admire his good taste and his smart choices.  Moving the headquarters to the former Las Vegas City Hall is an example of upcycling that makes my heart beat faster.  He has a strong agenda to grow his culture and provide right livelihood for his employees.  The company and all of the customers who shop there are the major lucky beneficiaries of his vision of business.  I love the way they completely make obvious how the culture works, how it remains strong, and how it serves all involved.

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