I am such a bad vegetarian. I am so bad at conscious shopping. I’m a hypocrite. And this is going to be a personal commentary in honour of the Fashion Revolution Week.
My journey to Vegetarian (Pescatarian to be precise, but only organic, same with eggs, right?) life started from my desire to consume fashion responsibly. When I talk to fellow veg-wannabes, people who’ve just started trying out the vegetarian route, who try to recycle, who feel guilty of buying leather goods or finally ban fur from their lives, we are all on the same boat – trying out new ways of consuming, failing, trying again, feeling guilty sometimes.
For me, it all started almost three years ago when I decided to stop shopping mass-produced fashion unless I know where the product comes from. For me, ethical consumerism is love for people above all, then come animals and nature. I know it’s personal and please don’t judge me. Working with independent fashion designers and retailing them at some point in the past was quite liberating. It wasn’t even that difficult to find and shop fashion I liked (sometimes, adore) from the brands and people I know personally. Putting this restraint on me, I also demanded the same (and still do) from my partners – I push quite a bit my sweatshop-free agenda and am proud to know our agency members are sweatshop-free. Most of them, are sweatshop-free by coincidence, some are very serious about the ethical supply chain and manufacturing process. In short, this is the best decision I have made in the last years and this hasn’t been easy. Have I sinned? Oh yes, each year I still buy 2-3 items that are not coming from small, 100% transparent or vintage brands. However, my decision to shop responsibly, including shopping less, made a very good impact on my wardrobe. Realistically, my wardrobe today is at least 40% smaller than 5 years ago.
The next step that followed naturally was to put more emphasis on the household items and food. I wanted to shop organic and reduce chemicals in the household items but was sort of lazy. Eventually, I managed to take care of that (more or less). Same with recycling – I have finally taken that into my hands and made sure that toilet paper tubes and banana peels rest in peace in the separate cemetery for waste.
And finally, my vegetarian agenda. I was never a big meat eater. So, this year I have decided to abandon meat once and for all. I haven’t even noticed any changes in my body, except the on-off craving for sweet and sour crispy chicken from my local Korean restaurant, I also loved steak tartar. To make a transition easier I decided to abandon meat but keep fish and the rest. So far, so good. However, suddenly I realised that being meet-free also means leather-free. To be completely honest, this freaked me out. At least I bought my leather jacket before my meat-free days which I wear with no fear. All the future purchases will have to be even more considerate. Sometimes it is a very difficult task. You either start not buying a thing or just give in. And I know I will fail, sometimes. But I will try.
And this is what Fashion Revolution did to me.