Choosing to go eco-chic by making sustainable consumer decisions
As a savvy fashion consumer, I personally get a real sense of satisfaction every time my card swipes a purchase for an unforgettably unique garment. The confessions of a shopaholic, right? Whether that is a groovy copper chain necklace I found at a thrift store or an army inspired coat from H&M X Balmain Collection. I don’t value a brand so much as I value the individual quality of an item. After I’ve worked a long two weeks, I take a portion amount of my paycheck and set it aside for my obsessive fashion fund. When it gets down to every purchase, I want to make sure the money I spend on an item is worth the return I will get from it. As a consumer, this is how I create my buying power.
Clothing is an investment. Often our very fashion spending habits are directly correlated to how we want to be perceived by others. When you invest in clothing, you’re not only investing in yourself but you’re creating a platform for others to invest in your persona as well. Fashion as an art form is an outside representation of the inner-self. This is why I only purchase one of a kind pieces to add to my continually growing, distinctive wardrobe. The garments I choose to wear have to draw a parallel to how I want the world to see me in that moment. I mix high with low fashion and everything in-between to create my look. And that’s why I do a majority of my purchases in vintage and thrift shops like Crossroads Trading and Buffalo Exchange.
While myself and many others have been “thrifting” in California for quite some time now, Eco-chic is gaining legitimate respect as a profitable fashion business model worldwide. With the rise of local sustainable business like Everlane and Patagonia, that offer sustainable fashion basics and unique constructed garments at a fraction of the price you would find at other top label brands. Because people are more likely to invest in fashion basics than overdone garments, these companies offer a direct online market for consumers that really spend their money on smart fashion consumption. Why pay more elsewhere when you have the buying power to buy high quality sustainable products at your fingertips?
In addition to eco-friendly fashion companies are luxury fashion consignment retailers that offer unique and high quality clothing, such as The Real Real based out of San Francisco. With retail price cuts anywhere from 40 to 80 percent off it gives consumers more buying power into the luxury side of fashion, which they may not have been able to regularly afford otherwise.
Though fast fashion retailers offer cheap products it’s hard to keep up with their 52 week fashion cycle. These businesses are far from sustainable in means of producing so many micro trends within a fashion cycle that really just aren’t worth the money. The fashion industry is moving slowly in terms of reducing, reusing and recycling. However, with the rise of consumer behavior leaning towards savvy and eco-consumption, companies will have to put the sustainability issue at the forefront of their business if they intend to stay relevant in the future. This is our buying power and it’s time we take some control of the clothing we consume.
Tyler J. Drinnen, is the Founder and Editor in Chief of iTEM MAGAZINE. His primary goal as a Fashion Creative, is to document fashion history in the streetwear and art sector.
From the lens of an abstract visual content producer, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Media Studies from Sonoma State University; where he wrote a weekly Opinion Column for The Star, dabbled with his own radio podcast format, titled Saturday Nite Scandal, and helped to create one of the first Professional Student Lead PR Firms in the USA.
From there on, he continued his work by interning with Sonoma Discoveries Magazine and then shortly after wrote and interned for Fashion School Daily, where he solidified his love for feature writing and working with emerging talents from around the world.
In December of 2016, he received an Honorary Master of Arts in Fashion Journalism from the Academy of Art University – And what an achievement that was, to be the first in his program to have graduated a full semester early – Bringing him to four design oriented degrees in a short five and a half years, nothing will stop him from bringing art of the few, to the eyes of many.
He has worked in the fashion industry for just over a decade, from commercial retail visual management to corporate level ghost writing and consulting. Now, in this exact moment, T.J.D. takes his life public with the independent urban California lifestyle based fashion movement, iTEM MAGAZINE: A Platform For Rising Artists.