Clothing choice is a material that’s slapped on us from the moment we’re born. And let’s face it, most of us don’t even think twice about getting dressed every day because it’s just what we do. Clothing choice is life and over time we begin to get more and more obsessed with having more. One new item is never enough and even when you have so many different options, you still want something better. I get it. We live in a world that is fast-moving and every shopping mall is jam-packed with incredibly tempting collections. You want to buy them all!
Clothing choices are pretty intimate too. If you think about it, nothing else touches your skin as closely as clothing choices do daily. That’s why what you wear says a lot about who you are. Some fashion designers might even say that it’s a silent form of expression or powerful projection of ‘who we are.’ But there’s a big problem with this mentality. If newer is always better, then what happens to the old?
Do you throw it away and let it go to waste? More importantly, when you wear your clothing choice, does it make you feel amazing? If not, then what’s the point of buying it? People are getting so vigorous with their shopping sprees that they make thoughtless purchases and haven’t stopped for two seconds to think about how the clothing choice makes them feel.
Clothing Choices Make You Feel Different With Every New Purchase
In fact, statistics have found that most shopping purchases are made because of the emotion that a shopper is experiencing on that day. There’s generally a lack of ‘need’ for the item. Experts explain that our relationship with clothing choice is formed through different emotions. From joy to misery. Think about it. Clothes have the ability to make you feel, better, sexier and more sophisticated or they can make you look or feel ugly and off trend. Pretty superficial right? Yup, but this is the world we live in.
Thankfully, the globe realises just how unsustainable and unfair this mentality is to our environment. Fast fashion is damaging and we must recognise this. Even Paris Haute Couture 2019 fashion designers are creating new innovations that take sustainability and slow fashion into account. Otherwise, we would all continue to overbuy and load our closets with purchases we thought would transform us but only gather dust and regrets or get tossed.
Haute couture might be the most sustainable kind of fashion out there. The reason I say this is because the designers create timeless, one-of-a-kind pieces. Whereas in fast fashion, there’s something new in the pipeline the very next day. Do you see the difference?
Fast Fashion Is What Makes Clothing Choice Dangerous
If you’re senselessly buying into a clothing choice without knowing why then you’re exactly what’s wrong with the world. We need to shift our thinking to investing in classic or timeless pieces rather than updating every item in our closet. Try to buy what you really need and want, and will last you for a long time. But the rise in fast fashion over the years is making it worse. There’s a significant increase in overconsumption and overproduction of really cheap clothes that follow fleeting or fad trends. People find themselves in a constant loop because they want to remain trendy and which compels them to keep on buying more. So instead of clothing being an item to cover up with, it’s now really disposable.
I think we’re missing the point a little. Don’t you think so?
This might not be the prettiest topic to address, but we need to address it. Fast fashion is driven by globalization, cheap labor and resource markets. This means that the clothing choice gets designed in one country, made in another, and sold in yet another. Basically, the production of clothing has doubled in the last 15 years. Eighty billion pieces of clothes are now produced worldwide each year!
Why Is Fast Fashion Clothing Choice A Wellness Trigger?
It’s interesting. The more aware we are of the wastage problems in the world; the more we crave to be more sustainable. I mean, when we start emphasizing the issues with fast fashion, we start realising that our senseless and impulsive purchases weren’t made to make us feel good when they really should’ve been. The only reason you should make a clothing choice is that it makes you feel on top of the world, not for some fleeting new style. Or even better, to dress. You can’t walk around naked.
I think many of us feel guilty about the disastrous impact of fast fashion. Senselessly making a clothing choice feels greedy, and harsh on the environment and the human race. I mean, we’re contributing to waste, pollution and exploited garment workers. News reports state that these workers are only paid 40–60 cents/hour in places such as Bangladesh or Vietnam. In addition, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned. Reports state that three in five garments bought end up in a landfill or burned within a year. The worst part is that nothing about this is beneficial to our health either.
Mindfully Wearing Clothes
This is where conscious consumption plays a key role. All I’m trying to say is that we need to be more mindful in every aspect of our life and that’s why ‘well-fashion’ will dominate the market. There couldn’t be a time where people care more about their health than they do now. As if the environment alone was a big enough reason. Health and wellbeing have stepped into the equation.
According to the Global Wellness Summit, less than 1 per cent of clothing choice material is recycled. Do you have any idea how this can negatively impact your health too? I mean, we’re living and breathing it all in. When you buy and then throw away, you’re creating over 1.2 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. Even worse, dumping 20 percent of all global wastewater. Therefore, if we don’t make a change now then the fashion industry will use up more than 25 percent of the world’s entire carbon budget by 2050.
Like I said, clothing has immense power…but can it heal you?
Clothing Choice Is More Than An Expression Of Character
Back in the day, we saw clothing as a projection of who we were. Things have changed so much since then. In fact, recently, athleisure has taken over. This trend takes comfort and feeling good to all-time heights. I think humans feel really guilty about their contribution to the unsustainable practices of fast fashion and are looking for ways to make clothing choice do more good. Since we love it so much and need it. We might as well figure out ways to make it less harmful and more meaningful – besides the fact that we need clothing choices to live.
This is why I enjoy athleisure clothing. The core message behind it is positive and promotes a healthy mind, body and soul. There may have been some production mistakes down the road, but I think manufacturers are learning. Thankfully, there’s been an amazing progression of athleisure in more ways than one. Comfort has taken fashionable precedence.
We’re seeing all kinds of athleisure innovations and smart clothing choice that helps us remain mindful. Wellness and fashion have almost been forced to intertwine. I can confidently say that the next big thing in the world is “well fashion.” This is basically a new kind of industry altogether. We no longer need to separate wellness and fashion into two completely independent entities. Especially if our goal is to heal ourselves and the world. To do this, we need to learn more about life as we know it. I think this has sparked major curiosity within us to learn more about our bodies, health, environment and our role in it all.
Conscious Consumption And Clothing Choices To Heal Us
Designers know about statistics. That’s why they’re getting really creative with their designs. We all know that people don’t want meaningless clothing choices anymore. What is in it for me, they’re asking. Simple improvements are being made as well. Designers are adding a little something extra to their fabric or structure in an effort to improve wellness. This is extremely smart and makes us feel better about the clothing itself. It’s pretty much an aspirational triad of physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
In fact, the recent Global Wellness Summit in York claims that ‘well-fashion’ is one of the buzziest trends of 2019. This event is massive and extremely insightful. It’s also an invitation-only international gathering with a whole lot of experts from different sectors of the $4.2 trillion wellness economy.
Beth McGroarty, the vice president of research and forecasting for the GWS says that we wear clothes all the time. She explains that we do it without even thinking about it. But when you do, it’s really bizarre to think that they’ve never done anything beneficial other than clothes us. She says that technology’s been around a long time but our clothes have been stupid. And I guess she’s spot on.
This is where it ends though because designers are onto it. Fashion needs substance.
Fashion Is Beautiful But Clothing Choice Needs Brains Too
Just like any health product you see in the store, wellness clothing choice is made differently for different people’s needs. If you’ve got dry skin you’re not going to buy a cream for oil-free skin. Do you get what I mean? ‘Well-fashion’ isn’t one size fits all. According to Healthline, collagen peptides in Buki’s limited-edition shirts, hoodies, and scarves promise to soften, hydrate and protect your skin.
Moreover, Monsoon Blooms sells organic cotton clothes dyed with Ayurvedic medicinal herbs. These natural are part of India’s ancient medicine system. Interestingly, their dye house in Kerala even sells clothing to locals based on their ailments. How incredible is this? That’s what I mean, clothes that have a purpose.
Healthline also speaks about Cool-jams sleepwear which was initially developed for the Canadian Armed Forces. The clothing uses a moisture-wicking fabric to help battle night sweats caused by conditions like menopause, diabetes, and obesity. Better yet, doctors are also starting to realize how they can help their patients with clothes. Some podiatrists have even started their own shoe lines. Now we’re utilising clothing to its max! It’s just weird how it took us so long to do it.
Clothes Never Seem To Come With A Warning
McGroarty explains to Healthline that no matter what coffee you buy, you’ll find a warning stating that it is very hot and can burn you. Take caution. However, with fashion, you can buy four-inch platform heels with no warning about what could happen to your ankles when you try to take your first step. Therefore we need to look to doctors for their insight into creating beneficial clothing that’s going to improve our health.
And since there are no limits to technology, we have the power to create whatever we want. McGroaty says that fitness wearable technology that monitors your heart, movement, and even your sleep. All of it was step one and we took a while to figure out how to start building that technology into the clothing itself without it looking bulky.
But scientists have figured it out. They know how to transform common clothing choices into sensors by applying polymer coatings onto existing fabrics, threads, and garments. Researchers at the University of Maryland have even developed a revolutionary new fabric that can automatically control the amount of heat that passes through it.
You would become your own mobile heater. They’re still working on cooling clothing choices, but I am confident that this will happen very soon. Many people struggle to regulate their own body temperatures. This will solve so many problems, especially for infants and elderly folk.
Don’t Rely On Clothing Choices For Health
This doesn’t mean we should get lazy with our health and assume that clothing choice will sort it out. Things like UV rays from the sun are still damaging and clothing choices don’t offer that kind of protection. In addition, cooling and heating systems in clothing will only assist in keeping you more comfortable. But they don’t give you superhero powers so overexertion and overexposure to extreme temperatures still pose the same risk of hyperthermia and hypothermia.
The key is to remain mindful about well-fashion. The placebo effect is also very real. You might think you’re healed because of the clothing choice. However, if there is an underlying health problem you will still need to get it sorted out by doctors. Well-fashion is life-changing but it isn’t magic.
Summer means hot and warm weather, where there’s more sunshine and vitamin D freely available. We need to take advantage of this to get outdoors.