I’m starting to realize one of the most difficult parts about exclusively buying fair trade fashion: You can’t just “run out real quick and grab ____.”
This realization recently hit home when I was preparing for a big meeting at work. As I was putting together my outfit the night before, I noticed how my tan belt was worn and frayed and looked as though it might snap in half. No problem, I thought, I’ll just run by Target on the way to work tomorrow and pick up a new one.
Well actually, no. No I won’t. Because I’ve committed to this fair trade deal.
My mind started turning frantically. I can’t wear a black belt with this because I’m wearing nude shoes. Black shoes wouldn’t look half as good with this outfit. There’s nowhere within driving distance where I can find a tan belt tomorrow morning before work, and I don’t have time to order something online. Agh!
Honestly, I’m a little embarrassed to admit that not having a tan colored belt was a fashion dilemma for me. Yes, the nude shoes and belt would have looked smashing with the outfit. But the black shoes and belt looked just fine, and no one else noticed the difference. If there’s one thing this challenge is teaching me, it’s that, for the most part, I already have more than enough, and I still look fine even when I don’t look like I stepped off the runway. I’m just not willing to compromise on my values anymore in order to have a closet full of beautiful clothes.
Takeaways: 1) Learning contentment is a process. 2) Buying fair trade does not always fit nicely with the convenience-driven American lifestyle. 3) People > clothes. Always.
P.S. – You can catch more Inside Out Challenge posts here.