The End of the 15-30 Project + Other Things

Yesterday marked the end of a month long project started by Sam (along with some others) "to create a better understanding of our own personal style while creating a culture that doesn’t rely on buying recklessly and disposing quickly". While I kinda uh, failed to religiously document what I wore everyday, I am happy to report that not only is a curated wardrobe of fifteen pieces feasible but also not all that difficult. That said, it was not without the effort of initially paring the number of pieces down to just fifteen. There were times within the month when I was tempted to buy some things (especially with all those school trips to Boston and to NYC of all places) but I've resisted and emerged with my wallet unscathed. Fighting the temptation for novelty is not easy, but it's possible! Maybe I should add a small caveat that it is plausible the reason I found things easier was because I was dressing mostly for class and not for work, but either way I'm sure you can find other bloggers who has finished the project and are part of the working force as well.

And while I'm still on this tangent arguing against impulsive shopping and a return to "slow fashion", I've read a slew of articles recently that seems to prove my point that there is already a growing effort to go back to "slow fashion". The article I read from NY Mag examines the "twee" artisanal culture that is currently flourishing in "hipster" neighbourhoods in places like Brooklyn. Naysayers may argue that all these different artisanal products (meaning locally sourced, most likely handmade) are only for the privileged, a select few who can afford beautifully wrapped $8 Mast Brothers chocolate bars while many others are still unemployed and living on food stamps. I do agree with this since it's unlikely this will be available for your average consumer and it's against the nature the artisanal industry to produce things en masse anyway. I do beg to differ in that perhaps the growing awareness to artisans and their crafts with publications like Kinfolk and popular shopping communities like Etsy for example, will push things towards a tipping point in trickling into the mainstream collective consciousness, which will in turn increase overall demand for high quality and sustainable goods. The reason now why such products as expensive as it is, is most likely due to the fact there are the number of such artisanal businesses aren't that big to begin with. Currently each small firm is a dominant player in their particular niche but with the heightened public awareness, ideally then more businesses in will open up in respond to demand that will lower the cost of the products across the board.

One only needs to look to Japan to see that the culture of small artisanal businesses can not only thrive but can also be sustainable. Nothing's perfect as Japan is still experiencing deflation and has a bear economy for quite a while since the 90s now, nevertheless it does show there is a long-term interest for high quality goods is there and will remain. Many Japanese designers and brands have been featured in foreign publications i.e. Canadian magazine Inventoryfurther demonstrates that in our globalised economy, the customer base can only increase. Hopefully this little tidbit of mine can mollify those who worry that fast fashion will dominate fashion entirely; as factory-made, mass produced goods continue to exist, there will always be a reactionary backlash in the form of the artisanal goods. The appreciation for well crafted goods will never go away. High quality yet also affordable products seems like a far-fetched combination right now but we'll be getting there, eventually. Ultimately we should not discount the possibility that technology may improve so much that high quality goods can be sustainably mass-produced. Until then only time can tell.

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