The clothing you purchase on Amazon might be inexpensive—but it comes at a cost.
I opened my boutique, Retail Therapy, 11 years ago. When we first opened, my mission was to give women beautiful, comfortable and sustainable clothing that would be a timeless addition to their wardrobes. I didn’t know it at the time, but my mission aligned with an emerging movement in the fashion industry known as “slow fashion.”
The slow fashion movement advocates for an approach to fashion that considers the processes and resources required to make clothing—and places a special emphasis on minimizing the impact fashion has on the environment. It involves buying (or in my case, selling) better-quality garments that will last for longer and values the fair treatment of people, animals and the planet.
The opposite approach to slow fashion is known as “fast fashion.” Clothing made using the fast fashion approach is mass-produced in large quantities, in overcrowded factories by employees who are not paid a living wage. Pieces produced in this manner generally are not made well and use inferior quality fabric that does not last.
Fast fashion may mean that clothing quickly moves from the runway to the consumer—but it typically finds its way to the garbage or a donation pile at a similarly fast pace.
When we consider all the issues facing the world today, innocently getting rid of articles of clothing that no longer spark joy doesn’t seem like a big deal—but discarded clothing is a much larger environmental issue than you might realize. Did you know that 84 percent of secondhand clothing ends up in a landfill? In New York City alone that equates to approximately 400 million pounds of used clothing that is thrown away annually. These numbers are staggering—and doing serious harm to our planet.
There is a demand for ethically and sustainably sourced clothing—even right here in Lansing, Michigan. I have made a promise to my customers and myself that I will not support industries that create tremendous waste, treat people unfairly and damage our environment—and that will never change. All of the clothing available at Retail Therapy is responsibly sourced, with the vast majority of clothing being cut to order and fair trade.
Simply put, slow fashion is fashion made ethically. It’s fashion consumed and created more intentionally and consciously. At Retail Therapy, we’re supporting sustainable fashion—and looking good doing it.