I Used to Be a Failure at Shopping
The pressure was hight. I couldn’t say if I was sweating because of 35°C that day or because of the tension my brain was experiencing.
Do what makes sense now or do the right thing?
A crowd of Moscow teenagers nearly smashed me on a way to the dressing room. Sales craze of early August never seemed to end. A sweatdrop ran down my face and fell right onto the phone screen. One more minute and I would pass out. So I’ve made my wrong choice and bought that dress in Zara.
I hear you saying ‘what is the problem?!’ But for someone who calls herself ‘slow fashion advocate’ it is a big deal. If only I spent more time packing, I wouldn’t have bough something that lasted a month. Was it the only time I ended up in one of the Inditex shops because I packed my suitcase poorly? No. But it was the last.
Buying ethically made clothes has always been difficult for me. It is a battle between impulse purchases and carefully selected garments, ridiculously low prices and fair prices, seasonal trends and long-lasting pieces. But it gets even more challenging when you’re a corporate flight attendant that cannot plan her life.
You get a phone call and in a few hours you’re flying you don’t remember where to. Sometimes you’re missing a warm sweater, sometimes a swimsuit, sometimes you leave a pair of jeans at a laundry somewhere in Siberia… Needless to say you shop a lot.
After the first year of flying I improved my packing skills and became much more organised. Yet I had nothing to wear and clothes that either looked like something I already owned or something I would never try on.
I didn’t know what my style was. As a teenager I had been wearing what others did. Except grey and black - my family considered these colours ‘sad’. Then impulse shopping, a struggle to choose between ‘sexy’ and ‘practical’ (who would have though it can be both?), and buying something I thought an elegant flight attendant would wear. I made everything in the closet my ugly uniform.
Building an ethical wardrobe reflecting who you are requires more work than one might think. But you don’t have to quit your job and move abroad like I did. Changing spending habits and learning the truth about fast fashion are possible everywhere.
I see more and more brands moving towards sustainability, and I know these changes are happening due to consumer demand and pressure! But it’s still a long way to go - both for me and for the fashion industry.
Like everything else, living sustainably is a choice.
It isn’t always easy but it is always right.