As Black Friday approaches, I can’t say I’m not tempted to shop my heart out. Those sales are designed to lure even the most ardent anti-consumers into spending hundreds for an “incredible” deal. What if the price on that cardigan never gets this good? Don’t I deserve that trendy coat this holiday season?
While I keep telling myself to stay sensible despite the incoming marketing onslaught, I already find myself nearly giving in to temptation (conveniently ignoring my bank balance, which looks impressively terrible.) I was lucky, however, to have an insightful chat with Bhoomika Gupta, project manager of Humber College’s upcoming Eco Closet event organized by students from the Fashion Arts & Business diploma program.
This year’s Eco Closet, dubbed Bazaar In Bloom, will feature a marketplace of clothing from local businesses owned by Humber students and alumni, as well as a thrift store filled with pre-loved clothing donated by other students. You can shop proud knowing that your next interview blazer or pair of jeans is fairly priced (yay bank balance) and proceeds will be donated to Youth Without Shelter, a charity supporting youth facing homelessness in the GTA.
The event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 30 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Humber College North Campus E-Concourse (EC2-1).
As we discussed the goals behind the event and some scary facts about fashion’s environmental impact, I found myself increasingly put off by the idea of a mad shopping spree. Safe to say, I have now decided to embrace a more sustainable shopping season. I’m also really excited about the event for a bunch of reasons:
Snagging affordable business casuals
Business casuals are expensive, and let’s face it, as students, it’s not easy to drop $200 on a new set. You definitely shouldn’t miss the event if you’re looking for business casuals for co-op interviews and placements. “We know that as students, everybody’s doing interviews for co-ops and things like that. So we’ll have a lot of smart casuals and smart formals as well work-friendly jeans and blouses,” Gupta said.
A stitch in time…
Ever felt that crushing dismay when you rip your favourite pair of leggings? We’ve all been there, and by learning the simple skill of mending your clothes, you can hang on to those staples and be more sustainable while you’re at it.
“The Eco Closet will have a mending table where students can bring in their old clothes that require mending and we’ll also teach them handwork like how you can make small stitches instead of throwing away the garment over one little tear or a little patch,” Gupta said.
Styling like a pro
“The best way to be sustainable is to work around the pieces you have in your closet. Figure out how to wear them in different ways. For example, if you have a white shirt and don’t know how to wear it 10 different ways, research how to style it,” she said.
While there are many blogs and YouTube videos about styling, you can get some pro tips from students in the fashion program. At the Eco Closet event, they can offer personalized tips on styling based on your preferences, existing wardrobe and new pieces you can add.
Learn how to recognize long-term value
While it’s tempting to buy everything in the “Under $10” sale or get 12 pieces of clothing for $100, it’s important to consider longevity. Movements like the 30 Wear Challenge, which asks you to commit to wearing a new item of clothing at least 30 times, encourage you to consider whether that piece of clothing will actually provide value over time. Sometimes, clothes that are expensive up front turn out being cheaper in the long run.
“It’s great to be on trend but if the material is not great and the pieces are not timeless, I don’t think you should invest in it,” Gupta said.
Don’t buy it unless you NEED it
The best way to be sustainable is to buy clothing only when you truly need it. When Gupta, a fashion student, said she doesn’t shop often, I struggled to contain my disbelief. “I basically I suck the life out of my clothing. I don’t buy a piece of clothing unless I really, really need it, and know I can wear it multiple ways,” she said.
With this, I hope you are inspired to embrace a sustainable clothing journey while saving money and looking absolutely chic. If you’re intrigued and eager to learn more, consider attending the Eco Closet event on Nov. 30 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the North Campus to dive deeper into sustainable fashion practices, save money, and refine your chic style with.
Looking for winter clothing? Check out our tips to snag the best quality winter clothing on a tight budget.