Sunday, September 15, 2013

Aussie Curves: $50 Outfit

One of those themes that really got me thinking. I love a bargain - who doesn't love a bargain? But cheap clothes often hide a dirty secret. When something is cheap, really cheap - and you buy it new - it means that whoever made it wasn't paid fairly for it, in all likelihood. Of course with clothing manufacturing in the state that it is, when you pay a lot for something, that's no guarantee, either.

We do a lot of encouraging others to buy and buy more in our consumerist world - everyone wants something new all the time. Bloggers are under special pressure to always show "new" things in their posts, but it's a reflection of the wider world. Most of us have far more clothes than we need, but still we are encouraged to buy more and more. The cheaper the better! 

The fact that these cheap clothes were made by people hunched over sewing machines who got paid a pittance for it never comes into the conversation. No one ever asks "If it was that cheap, where did it come from, who made it and how much did they get paid for it?" 

I'm not pointing the finger here - I am guilty too. I buy cheap things because I can't afford the expensive ones, but I have been buying a lot less since these issues came up on my radar. 

I'm still a bargain hunter - but I am using a different equation. A good equation for me to decide how much of a "bargain" something is is to assess it on a "cost per wear" basis. If I buy a $50 jacket and I wear it twice, the "cost per wear" is $25. If I buy a $400 jacket, and I wear it a thousand times over the course of years, then the cost per wear is much much cheaper than the "bargain" jacket.  I am trying to buy in a more considerate manner than I have done in the past. The result is a lot fewer purchases, but leaves me happier with the state of my wardrobe overall.  

Other things I do to get bargains without supporting slave-wage scenarios is participate in clothing swaps and op-shopping - getting things that are "new to me" is just as good as getting new things, I find, and it's certainly a lot more ethical and sustainable. 

All of the pictures in this post are of outfits that feature second hand items. 



  1. I asked >

    I hear you loud and clear on this one and I'm slowing down my wardrobe. I use a lot of pieces on my blog that are years and years old. Usually they are items available to purchase anytime but I hope in some way it demonstrates that a few good quality pieces are better than many low quality. Not something I always did. But now I know better, I'm trying to do better. Great post hun.

  2. I've always been a fan of reuse and recycle when it comes to clothing. Yes, I do own a fair few pieces from chains (CC especially) but a whole heap of stuff is thrifted. Especially for the AC challenges.