person walking during fashion week

Not that I would EVER think anyone working on the fashion industry would be bitchy, but it appears that I am completely wrong!

Last year, I unexpectedly found myself at Australian Fashion Week and witnessed a small, quirky, perhaps fair to say successful eclectic male designer pitch the biggest hissy fit because he was required to walk around a partition and not duck through it.

Steam was firing from his little elf-like ears. It was quite fascinating to watch. It was like his world was going to end. He delivered the most savage tongue lashing to the security guard, who looked as though he was about the squash the designer with his thumb and grind him into the ground.

Romance was NOT born. Romance was grumpy!

More recently another fashion diva, British designer Vivienne Westwood, went to town on Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge for her excessive consumption of fashion.

“I don’t have any advice to her, except I think it would be great if she wore the same clothes over and again, because that’s very good for the environment and it would send out a very nice message,” Westwood, (left), said.

Whatever Catherine does when it comes to her fashion choices, she is doomed either way. Wear the same thing and she will be slammed in the press and risk losing her style icon status. Wear something new everyday and face the wrath of British Fashion Royalty.

Part of me hopes that this dissection will all get too much for her at some point, and like me, will retire to a life of jeans and slouchy t-shirts, begrudgingly pulling on a pair of black pants when the occasion for something a little dressier presents itself. And always some silver hoop earrings from Diva, or the like.

hanged fashion clothes

But as much as we have in common, which is a big fat zero, if given the chance to raid the family jewelry box that she has access to, I too would shun those Diva hoops as well. I would wear a tiara doing the washing up.

But getting back to Ms. Westwood’s point about fashion and the environment, there are a few interesting facts I would like to share with you. Maybe that batshit crazy, redheaded septuagenarian has a point?

Let us take the staple in my own wardrobe, and no doubt many of you lovely Hooplarians as well. The Jean. (Do you notice now in fashion, things are called THE? As in The Boot or The Pant.)

I own 8 pairs of jeans. I have coloured jeans, printed jeans, “skinny” jeans that make me look anything but, black jeans, blue jeans and somewhere along the way, I have collected a pair of the dreaded MOM jeans.

“Mom” jeans are famed for higher that usual waists and provide an unflattering silhouette. Baggy where they should be fitted and vice versa. Camel toe mandatory. They are completely nasty. I do not know where mine came from.

Oh yes I do. From my appalling taste.

Vivienne Westwood’s comments have really made me think about the consumption of fashion and the amount of “stuff” that we “stuff” into our wardrobe. With that in mind, I am pleased to be able to share with you my newly adopted mantra.

Buy it once and buy it well.

fashion jeans

Those ugly “Mom” jeans and the other 5 pairs that I do not wear have waged their own little assault on our environment. Lately, the big chain stores have been boasting that they were selling jeans for as little as $7, when in fact, the cost is far, far greater.

It takes around 6,800 litres of water to grow enough cotton to make one pair of jeans, be they cheap and nasties or your designer $500 pair. Just to grow the cotton.

Then of course you must take into account the manufacturing process that contributes even more waste and uses a staggering amount of resources such as power and fuel. But at least 70% of the energy that your jeans use up in their lifetime comes from washing, drying and ironing them.

So if you have 8 pairs in your closet, it starts to add up.

And considering that one billion pairs of jeans are bought every year, the drain on our global resources becomes a little frightening. All for the love of denim.

When I first read the media reports that Vivienne Westwood had had a crack at Kate for wearing too many different outfits, I must admit that I thought Viv was a hypocrite. After all, doesn’t she contribute to this whole industry?

But then I realized that in my own shopping habits, I am far more to blame because I consume it. And I have stopped. From now on, only the things I love and need, will darken by wardrobe door.

Buy it once and buy it well, my friends. And look out for a pair of “Mom” jeans, coming to an eBay site near you.

Are you an avid fashion consumer? Or do you make more considered purchases?

How many pairs of jeans do you own? And how many do you actually wear?

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