Wear It to Death, Love It to Pieces: When Is Materialism a Good Thing?
With February 14th just around the corner, it seems like everyone has love on the brain. But for our part, we're nurturing a different kind of romance this month: a love affair with our wardrobes.
Some people will argue that sustainable fashion is about minimalism. That the goal is to become less materialistic.
This is true–but it's also true that, paradoxically, building a conscious closet requires us to assign more value to certain possessions. It's about making considered investments instead of impulsive splurges. It requires us to devote time and effort into caring for what we own.
Whether our reasons are practical, "vain" or utterly sentimental, there's a strong case to be made for connecting with what we buy, for becoming more attached and appreciative of what we choose to wear. A mindless purchase is easily relegated to the back of the closet and on to a landfill. Pieces that we treasure stay with us for years.
Think of the mileage we put on those goods that are extra comfortable, delightfully flattering, or hold special meaning: Jewelry passed on from mother to daughter. Winter coats that hold their own on 10-degree days. A significant other's t-shirt-turned-nightgown. Your "lucky" interview outfit. That confidence-boosting cocktail dress.
Items like these are the keepers, the antithesis to disposable fashion.
If we all fell in love with what we buy and own, we'd share stories instead of prices. We'd shop less and look better. That's why, on this Valentine's Day, we're celebrating the clothing and accessories that we've worn to death and literally loved to pieces. We're highlighting the beauty of faded favorites–those longtime wardrobe staples that we'll continue to cling to in all their frayed, tattered glory.
Check out our team's most beloved belongings above, and let us know: which item in your closet has been with you through thick and thin? Tag @shopethica and use the hashtags #worntodeath and #lovedtopieces to share.
From eco-friendly flowers to recyclable wrapping paper and handprinted cards, it's all in our 2013 Ethical Valentine's Day Gift Guide.