Christmas is upon us!
I get a little funny this time of year because I truthfully see little joy in the mainstream ideals of Christmas. As someone who is spiritual (yogic and science influence) but not religious I appreciate a good celebration of (insert your religion here) faith, but the enforcement of one huge consumer orgy wrapped in a religious ideal makes me a bit sick in the stomach. However, I do believe in taking time out, time off, and reassessing what it is that you hold nearest and dearest. A reflection process that usually turns out to be the prioritising of basic things in life such as loved ones, a hearty feed, a good book, some songs and dance, and a little bit of extra sleep in time. For some (who aren’t grinches like me) Christmas is welcomed in with open arms. There is joy in celebrating the season-religious or not- decorating your home and showing your love for your family with gifts that you have thoughtfully selected (and possibly thoughtfully wrapped in EcoChici reusable cloths shown above and throughout)
The 2016 Retail Market
I’ve been doing a little bit of retail sales this season with a retailer I used to work for (don’t worry, it’s not fast fashion) and it’s been great to get an insight into the 2016 consumer mind in the lead up to Christmas trade. What I’ve learned has been quite fascinating so I thought I might share. The most surprising bit of info is that Australia embraced Black Friday in full force this year which was VERY confusing for shoppers (and Russell Brand). Thanksgiving is obviously not an Australian holiday so for retailers to go on sale following it was a bit of a head scratcher for most Aussies. My theory is that it was a strategic based on e-retailing. If Aussie retailers wanted to keep consumers for the US buying from them over the Black Friday weekend they would have to go on sale on their websites. If websites are in sale mode then savvy Aussie shoppers would be shopping online instead of in-store to save dollars. Short of making elaborate US only sales codes, unique US only website URL’s, or isolating US members on mailing lists commenting to Black Friday sales in-store and online was a pretty wise move for Aussie retailers and it paid dividends at my local shopping centre.
Prior to Black Friday it had been pretty gosh-darn quiet in the shopping centre and the sale brought consumers back in droves to buy in bulk and cheap for the holiday season. While this is good for the owners and share holders of large chainstores and the kids who wake up on Christmas morning with an overflowing stocking, it’s not a good indicator of conscious shopping motivators. Sadly bulk-and-cheap shopping doesn’t pay well for the environment or contribute towards a more transparent and fair supply chain. It also causes a lot of stress and physical and mental clutter. It’s mentally stressing to get the best value for money, a car park, enough wrapping paper, and enough pointless stocking stuffers. It’s even harder work cleaning up the post Christmas mess and working out what to do with all the pointless bits of well-meaning junk that your family bought you to show their affection.
For those who enjoy a tangible gift.
To this point you might think I hate presents. It’s not true! I love a good gift giving scenario, I just don’t like junk (especially when it’s made using unethical production practices and isn’t environmental friendly)! My family usually consult one another to work out what we might use in the upcoming year and usually shop based on these suggestions. More often than not we gift secondhand items, money, or just don’t bother at all. If we choose to buy new we do it well. Buying high quality and researching the exact right item. Getting it right the first time is one of the most sustainable ways to shop. If you love to give tangible gifts I challenge you to buy mindful this year. Rather than shopping with a meagre budget across many people why not shop large for one and get something they really want. That way you can afford to buy something made mindfully that does good for people and planet. The following suggestions should help you work out where to shop for a fashionable Christmas.
Shopping for someone who has a preference towards masculine design. Be it the ‘man’ of the house, your Dad, yourself, or a friend who likes clean and sensible design these suggestions above should help you find something that will suit your gifting needs in style. Each has it’s own kudos in regards to sustainability, ethics and/or animal ethics. FIY the tee, long sleeve tee, sunglasses, wallet, and shoes are all unisex.
A little bit boho babe.
There is no denying that my style choices are swayed to the bohemian side of things. This little collection of goodies is 100% what I have been eyeballing over the last few months. If you don’t love these specifics but do enjoy some boho styling and denim click on the links and have a look at the other items the brands have for sale. I highly recommend checking out the Sole Rebel shoes. Those have some seriously awesome eco credentials and you should be able to shop shoes for the whole family.
For the kiddies.
I don’t have my own little ones (just the fur baby) but I do have more nephews than I can count on one hand so I do sometimes have a bit of a look at the cute kid-friendly things that the eco/ethical/sustainable fashion world has on offer. Those shown above are just a few things that jumped out at me.
It’s a wrap!
I hope you have enjoyed this post. Mid way through I thought to myself ‘NEVER AGAIN” because all this online clothing research is hard work and a seemingly simple post like this actually takes three or more hours to write. Then I remembered that is why blog like Sustainability in Style have their place. To make it easier for you to find what you are after. You will notice over the next year there will likely be less posts pointing you at specific brands or products. This isn’t because I’m selfish and don’t want to share. It’s because in 2017 the blog will be launched in an even more exciting direction, with more features and a sustainable community you can join. Part of the reason for this is that I will be using it to launch a big sustainability education research project. Research is pretty hard work and creating unbiased data with minimal external unwanted influencers can be even harder. To date there has been NO paid advertising on Sustainability in Style (which has been hard work because I get SOOOOO many emails, work long hours on this and it actually costs me money to keep it running with no financial return) because of this futures vision of using it for research, however there have been Label Love shout outs to brands I have found and loved. These shout outs are dissolving into the past to avoid influencing my studies. You will still get label suggestions and interviews with interesting designers however they will be in the context of a themed post or posted on the Shopping Directory (which is going to get an overhaul.. the current one is sort of a ‘draft’). For most part the blog will be the same (but with more juicy academic literature backing and less ‘hey look at these fifteen pretty shirts’) but those of you who join the community will be opened up to a whole new World of Sustainable Style fun.