Fast Fashion Sin: My Favorite Grey Cardigan
After being completely inspired by this post by the Fashion Hedge, I decided to take on her "Fast Fashion Sins" series and make it my own, because let's face it, no matter how amazing the sustainable fashion out there is, sometimes you just have to cave in and buy that fast fashion piece you've been eyeing for ages.
That was the case with this Urban Outfitters cardigan. While Urban Outfitters is still debated as to whether or not it's actually fast-fashion, for all intents and purposes, let's consider it as such for this post. I'd been searching for a thick, oversized, knit grey cardigan for ages, and after scouring every sustainable retailer, thrift shop, and second-hand site possible, I just couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. I looked and looked and nothing was quite to my liking, so I decided to head over to Urban Outfitters, which is admittedly still one of my favorite stores. They end up having everything that I'm looking for, and this cardigan was no exception. It was absolutely exactly what I wanted.
The reason I've lumped Urban Outfitters into the fast-fashion category is because of the fact that their supply chains are untraceable. They're not super transparent, so whether they are ethical or not, we really don't have much of an idea. In this case, we just have to assume the worst, until (if ever) we're proven otherwise.
But regardless, this cardigan is the best damn thing to ever happen to my wardrobe. I swear, not even a week goes by that I don't wear it at least three different times. It's my favorite piece to just grab and go, and it practically lives in my car / school bag. Whether I'm on an outdoor shoot, at brunch with friends, or just going to class, it's versatile enough to meet all my needs, and cozy enough that it feels like I'm wearing a blanket. And in a cold, dark lecture hall, it's the perfect accessory to accompany three hours of sociological theory.
I talked a few weeks ago about how the journey into sustainable living isn't linear, but rather, jagged, full of ups and downs. Nobody is perfect, and as a result, their sustainable lifestyle probably isn't perfect, either. I know mine isn't. I still shop at Urban Outfitters, and I love it. I don't shop there all the time, but every now and then, when I find a piece I love, I do. And that's okay, because it's all about balance. It's almost like eating a little (vegan) ice cream after a day of raw, clean eating: you know it's probably not the best, but it also won't kill you. In context, buying from a retailer that doesn't state their supply chain traceability probably isn't the best shopping choice you could make, but it won't completely kill your lifestyle.
Being in the world of sustainable fashion can be hard, especially when you love clothes, but remember that your journey is yours, and even if you don't buy 110% sustainable all the time- that's okay. As long as your overall intentions are to do good and be mindful, then in my opinion, you're doing the right thing.
Oh, and for the record, it's totally healthy to "sin" every once in a while, too. ;)