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A Note from Studio5: Do You Buy Designer Responsibly?

April 25, 2010

I want to share with you a comment I received regarding a post I did on the leopard shoes by Alexander Wang.  I do not make it a habit of singling out comments I receive because I’m appreciative of all comments.  But this particular one stood out and drew my attention.  The comment read:

“A little off topic perhaps, but a request for you to think about the ethics of buying things like designer clothes. Do try and think about, for example, the materials the item is made from, the conditions of the employees where they’re made and the green credentials of retailers. And try to recycle instead of discarding. Thanks!!!!”

There are those advocates who make it a point to continue to scrutinize how fashion is created, what it’s made with, where it comes from, and who is behind the creations.  We have no control over that.  And I think if we took the time to pay more attention to the employees of every retailer we patronned, many of them would go out of business because we would be too focused on who’s employed, their legal status for being employed rather than the items we’re looking to purchase.  To a degree we do have to be fashion minded and fashion conscience, but we can’t be consumed by what others think and believe, authentic versus artificial.

Now it’s not my business to tell people how to spend their money, where to shop, or what to buy when it comes to buying fashion — designer or not.  This is not why Studio5 was created.  I purposely created this blog to show my love and appreciation for the fashion industry as a whole because I respect what the designers must go through to create the pieces they create for the purpose of launching new and exciting collections year after year.  And this is the first year I’ve had the opportunity to come as far as I have, and I want to continue to enjoy this moment for many more months to come without the negativity.

Whether or not you’re huge on buying designer labels, are you “buying responsibly?”  Meaning, are you too focused on what it’s made of rather than cost?  Are you overly concerned with how it’s made in quality?  In either case of the matter, this is what fashion advocates will have you focus your attention though it’s your dollar and you buy what you desire and as much as you desire.  Or you are like me — love the designer’s labels but have to shop on a bargain due to financial constraints.  You wait until you can get the designer label or something similar well below costs and at retailers outside of where they are normally exclusively sold.  You don’t spend too much time focusing on who made it, where it comes from, just as long as the price is affordable and the quality is good.  It doesn’t necessarily bar you from the opportunity of loving fashion altogther if you’re a bargain shopper, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll never get a shot at buying designer labels.  The fashion industry has become flexible to the extent that smaller retail stores are availing themselves of the opportunity to be carriers of these labels (i.e., Calvin Klein and Jones New York sold at Ross Stores).

In short, I want to re-emphasize what Studio5 is about…sharing with everyone fashions whether from places I go, what I see on the internet, people I talk to, what I buy or from past and present fashion experiences.  My posts are strictly based on opinions, suggestions, thoughts and ideas.  It does not promote the use of sweat shops, pure animal skin products, or any other material that would be considered inappropriate and apart of ongoing public controversies.  Studio5 was not meant to be targeted for negativity, but for positive display of fashion. 

Let me also mention that while donating (or recycling) clothes, shoes and accessories you are no longer wearing to a charitable organization is a good idea and is highly recommended, you can only be rewared by being blessed ten times over by giving to others who are less fortunate, it is not a mandetory requirement.  It is not law!  People have their own way in how they handle purging their closet of old clothing by conducting yard sales or using eBay.  I say do whatever floats your boat!  Who am I to judge?  I choose to give my old clothes and shoes (don’t have many accessories), and coats and jackets to charitable organizations such as churches, outreach programs and the Goodwill Industries.  I do this at least 3 – 4 times a year and never ask for a receipt because I want to see others benefit from the items as I have.

The fashion industry was meant for everyone to enjoy not be criticized for what you wear or how you spend your money.  Let’s all love fashion as a whole.

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