28 February 2018

Personal Style and Individualism in a time of Mass-Consumerism

This post is in collaboration with Rokit

I put a poll on my Instagram stories last night to see what my followers thought about personal style and individualism in a time of mass consumerism. So far:
- 83% have voted that it is harder nowadays to establish a personal style or identity when we all buy from the same large stores
- 100% would like better access to more unique pieces which don't cost the world
- 75% believe that actually it all depends on how we style/wear/accessorize an item

I find these results so interesting because not only does it open the conversation on the effects of mass consumerism but it also sheds a light on how people approach fashion and style. This is something I have noticed when I'm out shopping with other people. We all have our own unique way of choosing an item and styling an item. We all look out for different things, whether that's the colour palette or the texture, the material or the structure- I don't think any 2 people have the same experience. That's what makes fashion so fun! However these results suggest that most people aren't happy with what we have access to and it does illustrate a gap in what the majority of young people can afford in this society (most of my followers are within the 18-24 age group). So how do we craft a more unique look when we can't always afford to invest in unique pieces? Do we need to stop buying from fast-fashion chains all-together?

As for my thoughts on the topic I struggle with the idea that when we buy mass-produced clothes from these big chains, there a significant drop in value of the piece. Does it matter if I'm buying something that literally thousands of other people can buy? How will I stand out if literally everyone has access to this very same piece? Won't we all just look the same? I think it's debatable. On one hand it does depend on how you style it to make it your own (I have looked at a blogger's outfit and thought wow I really do love that jumper) but on the other I would rather wear something that only I have and continue to take inspiration from others. Now how can I do that when practically no-one makes their own clothes anymore? If only tailor made pieces weren't so pricey. It feels like an impossible task to find this individualism. Or maybe I am just over-thinking it.

On top of all of that we need to acknowledge the poor treatment of workers in 3rd world countries and the amount of waste this industry produces every single year. Check out the hashtag Who Made My Clothes? on Instagram to learn more about it!

In order to continue crafting my personal style and identity (as let's be honest this is something which continuously develops through-out our lives) my main priority is to Buy Less and Buy Well. I need to get out of the mindset 'I should buy it because it is so cheap' and actually really think about whether or not this is something I need and will value in my wardrobe for years to come. I need to support ethical companies and brands. I need to make more of an effort basically - it's become to easy to follow the fast-fashion road.

Now let's talk about this outfit. I wanted to discuss this topic with this look mainly because of the new vintage blouse from our collaboration with Rokit (see masterpost here). It's a vintage piece from the 80's and it looks and feels brand new. I can't help but wonder where it's been all these years! Secondhand pieces seem to be super trendy at the moment which I think is great, not only are these pieces truly unique but it's also ethical to wear them. The difficulty lies with the accessibility to these stores and people's willingness to sacrifice time going through the many racks. It can be quite the task. I can't tell you how many times I've walked out of a store completely drained and annoyed that I couldn't find anything. To make things easier Rokit have an online website where you can filter through the items by size, decade, brand and type. It made it all much easier and they offer international delivery, giving access to those who aren't able to venture into London!

It's worth mentioning that Rokit have recycled over a million tonnes of disregarded clothing over 3 decades.

Finally a last comment on this outfit: I think it's important to state that I have worn the other items many times over as I do genuinely wear my clothes for years. Just take a look back through some of our previous blog posts and you'll find the trench coat, faux-leather shoes and high-waisted skirt in many of them.

Holly x

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