The Emotional, Environmental and Financial Impact of our Fashion Mistakes

photo: Alexander McQueen Autumn / Winter 2009-10. POP Magazine A/W 2009 photographer: Tung Walsh

photo: Alexander McQueen Autumn / Winter 2009-10. POP Magazine A/W 2009 photographer: Tung Walsh



The Emotional, Environmental & FINANCIAL Impact of our Fashion Mistakes

Sam Smith

The past five years has seen an unprecedented growth in the democracy of fashion dictation.   Anyone with a sufficiently tribal number of 'followers' now boasts the potential to have us wearing and wanting clothes.  And its not just in print and on screen, the woman next to you in those nice ankle boots is at the modern day mercy of a quick google search before they become your ankle boots too in approximately three clicks, a moment of lust, a surge of adrenalin and a credit card number.  

Thanks to mass production, mass exposure, and modern tech-dependent attention deficient fingers, we now have greater style awareness and product participation than ever before.  Fashion dilemmas are increasingly everyones problem, and we see more, want more, spend more, and leave a whole heap of unworn clothing, credit card statements, and guilt piling up on the floor behind us. 

An estimated 80 billion garments are produced each year.  

WRAP the UK’s Waste and Resources Action Program cites British consumers as spending £44 billion annually on clothes and leaving 30% of it unworn.  When those clothes eventually get dealt with some 350,000 tonnes of fabric per year will end up as landfill. 

In America meanwhile, impulse purchasing accounts for well over $4 billion of annual clothing sales.  Over 50 percent of shoppers regularly purchase on impulse.  It is projected that by 2019 35.4 billion lbs of textiles will be generated annually and 85% of this will end up as landfill.

Demonstrably, a survey by the National Association of Professional Organizers found that that 78% of Americans find the clutter they accumulate 'too complicated to deal with'. 

Fashion mistakes are an environmental, financial, logistical, and emotional problem.  While America is busy denying its clutter the University of Hertfordshire discovered that when placed under stress women neglect 90% of the clothes they own in favor of the 10% of outfits they attribute to helping them feel more confident.   What woman in this day and age is not placed under stress?  That 90% hangs, one might assume in wait swing tags attached, a taunting symbol of lost confidence, spent money, and a reminder of bad decisions.

New York based Lifestyle Coaching House developed Style Identity Coaching  so that more of the clothes we buy fit the confidence category than the landfill.  It is both emotionally, financially, and environmentally relevant to suss our style patterns and what we really want from our wardrobes.  The connection between self-image and self-confidence is well documented and Style Identity examines underlying beliefs and subliminal style choices in an empoweringly fresh approach.

Gaining greater self awareness and style purpose liberates us to tune out the clutter with a resulting resulting ripple that has both emotional, economical and environmental advantages for years to come.  

Sam Smith is founder of Lifestyle Coaching House.