A Convenience Truth

Al Gore Inconvenient
(Green suits him.)

I heard a brief snippet on NPR today and thought I’d pass along a thought for the day. Going green can be as simple as jumping off the fashion bandwagon.

Yes, quality ready-to-wear fashions are easier to find than ever before. And yes, you can buy knock off fashions mere moments after they appear on the runway. And yes, it is certainly easier and more convenient to buy cheaply, quickly and off-the-peg, rather than searching out the few resources available that offer real investment clothing.

But we pay for that convenience.

Current fashion, by its very definition, will be unfashionable by next season. Last season’s style will languish in the back of the closet. (Or, in the case of the leisure suit of the 70’s, in a landfill until it breaks down into its component fossil fuel elements.) By contrast, investing in timeless, very well-constructed pieces of clothing gives you bragging rights in the green movement.

Growing, harvesting and processing the raw materials that go into making disposable, fashionable clothing leaves behind a significantly larger carbon footprint than, say, going bespoke will. especially if your material is sourced from cottage industries like those that produce Harris Tweed. So, by extrapolation, making a one-time investment in an article of clothing that you (and possibly your children and grandchildren) will wear for many more years is doing the world a favour.

Buy timeless clothing and buy the world a little more time.

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8 Responses to A Convenience Truth

  1. HOBAC says:

    I always remember that old television advert … “Look for the union label when you are buying…” Buying American will also help, just as buying British here will help.

  2. fairfax says:

    Hearlily agree with both of you gentlemen.

    I loved the piece on NPR this morning about Det. Munch… he’s been a character on 8 different tv shows.

  3. HOBAC, “and buy bonds…” Buying local does help. But itinerant local tailors…. hmmm. I prefer to think of buying with an eye to wearing a garment for at least 15 years is a wholesome contribution to the problem. Yes, I know, I’m wearing ostrich feathers…

    Hiya Fairfax! Missed it. But I’m always amused by such pieces. And the “Marketplace Morning Report” is still the only business report to which I like to listen.

  4. all the best says:

    Very interesting and thought provoking post today! Thanks! I do miss NPR while driving home each day. Luckily there is always the Internet.

  5. t.i.g. says:

    That’s a great way to look at it, and your closing line is fantastic.

  6. s. says:

    The same goes for home fashion too, wouldn’t you say? Enough with this dwellstudio and jonathan adler and pottery barn made in india cr@p which is designed to be used for a few seasons before being thrown in the trash or disintegrating (whichever comes first)… I do wish people would buy well-made furniture and textiles, preferably from not too far away.

  7. AtB, Thank you! High speed connectivity is marvelous for keeping one in the loop! Now if I could only convince myself to listen to the computer….

    TIG, Thanks, you can take the boy out of copywriting,.. Always a pleasure to get that kind of feedback. (Clients, if you’re reading, please take note….)

    S, welcome. Yes, I agree. And that’s the beautiful thing about mixing in antiques with very well made furniture. Not to mention that the next generation gets to benefit from your exquisite taste, too.

  8. Todd Kunz says:

    I have been a believer in purchasing clothing that will last a lifetime for many years now. I have a bespoke suit from 1980 and two Harris Tweed Jackets from the mid or early 1970s and all three still look perfect and fashionable. I often get complements on a wool overcoat that was $600 in 1980. I had it tailored last year and at first glance, the tailor thought it was new. It is a long coat, but I have no intention of having it shortened to meet today’s fashion trends. In a year or two, long coats will be back in style.

    There is no substitute for buying quality, and if you want to wear it for years to come, buy classic styles, and stay away from what is currently fashionable. Classic styling will always be respected and admired.

    Chris, thanks for the run down on your casual attire. I am still trying to get my bearings on what works for a 56 year old man, who wants to look elegant at casual social events. Your choice of attire certainly worked.

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