Shopping: The Modern Olympics


Ready. Set. Go. That is what entering a shop can often feel like. The big bright banners enticing you, slogans that motivate you, and of course the intense competition of other offer hunters, the atmosphere is almost heavy with adrenaline, a description that can’t be used for my purse or bank card. We are greedy, I am greedy, there is nothing that us humans have more in common than the desire to obtain more, and society doesn’t make it any easier for us to resist this.

I had a moment of true pleasure sometime back when I fell in love and finally appreciated 2nd hand clothes. The beauty, the attitude and the stories that vintage clothes carry make them irreplaceable, just like our old clothes. I came to an understanding that I’ve been deceived for all this time by the crazy society, and I am no longer going to tolerate it; old is cool, no matter what connotations social media has created for the word.

Homo sapiens: literally, ‘wise men’, but am I wise if the most poignant thought I have is ‘what am I going to buy next?’. Where has our drive to make things by hand disappeared, or the want to be self-substantial just like our ancestors, this makes me think, have we become reliant on others, or maybe addicted?

Consumerism, or extensive shopping, is a serious issue that not only affects our personal economic position, but also the environment that we live in. Adverts, slogans, theme tunes and sales are wrapped around us like a blanket which only suffocates our rational thoughts and causes us to forget our appreciation for what we already have. Through purchasing more we add to the loop of environmental impacts and drive companies to produce more unsustainable products, which consequently end up in the landfill. I know that come to the end of the month,  I will be down to my last devices in my bank, why? Well, all because there was another sale or I had another occasion so of course, I had to buy something new.

Clothes are made to be re-worn over and over again, buying a new t-shirt every week is not necessary, no matter what the headlines say. Remember, vintage is chic. Instead of buying fast fashion, I’m going to slow down wear my clothes with pride, or go thrift shopping and seek out unique items that, for certain, will make me stand out and cause many heads to turn. There are 80 million pieces of clothes consumed yearly worldwide, causing 100 million tonnes of waste and requiring enough water to fill 32 million swimming pools. There are no secrets anymore this waste, along with the waste from agriculture and factories, is an inevitable staircase to human and animal doom.

I know I need to take a rest in what seems to have become a race for the newest trends, I don’t want to become another woman who, when entering a shop, transforms into a dragon because scales are not a good look. I want to show some compassion, how I’m looking isn’t the most important factor anymore, what’s happening to the earth is. I’m going to take a complete step back because I want to wear what’s in my wardrobe time and time again, not only for me but out of respect for the underpaid factory workers and the earth which has to endure all the toxins from the fabrics. I have enough t-shirts to wear a different one each day for over a week, I have enough trousers to wear a different pair each day of the week, similarly with jumpers and even coats, just like there are enough compliments to go around and enough men for each lady. There is enough of the good shit. Yet for one reason or another, once I step foot into a shop it’s like stepping into quicksand; there is no way I’m getting out.

Its okay to purchase an item from an unsustainable brand, just make sure that when that happens, you don’t wear it twice and then bin it, and that when it’s on, it makes you feel like J Low or Beyoncé.

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