I stopped buying clothes in a compulsive way years ago, but until a couple of years ago I didn't put too many thoughts into the way clothes were made and when I felt I needed a new piece of clothing I still went in high street shops like Zara, H&M, Pull and Bear, for example. I'm a knit designer and a maker of clothes myself and I started to learn more and more about the materials and how they were used. Buying a t-shirt made of organic cotton from Zara will not change anything, that t-shirt will still be made in a bad way. This topic is very large, very complicated and many others way more qualified than me have written articles and made videos about it. So here I want to just explain my idea and what I'm doing right now. I think I've actually been trying to do good with my clothes since January of this year. A little example: when the Winter sales started, I didn't go around visiting my usual places to see what they had to offer (right now, if I have to go to a physical shop I will go to COS or Muji or independent shops), I just went and looked for the only thing I needed for last Winter, a long coat.
At the beginning of the season I now check what I have in my closet, what I need to throw away because it doesn't fit anymore or because I never wear it. I think of what I will need during the next season and whether I need anything new. I do my research online, I look at my wishlist and see if there is anything I need and that I've been wanting for sometime. Otherwise I check if I can find it made by companies that make clothes in a sustainable way. I live in Italy and I follow some local amazing designers and made-in-Italy clothes brands and maybe they will have what I'm looking for.
I can't deny that sometimes I still want something new that I don't really need, but instead of going to the high street stores and subsequently feeling guilty for the next months, I go to second hand shops. Here in Milan we have the beautiful Bivio, to name one, so, if I find something that I really want I don't feel guilty.
Also, I'm trying to change a few things in my work too. I'm trying to use more and more ecological wool and hand dyed yarn, for example. When I make garments just to release the pattern it isn't much of a problem, but I also want to knit products with the same ecological yarn, although the price has to change accordingly. This is one of the major points that I've been working on in my shop during the past months.