We all know the common style compliment response…..“ Thanks, I got it for $10” or whatever great deal the consumer feels they received. But quite frankly this is not something to be bragging about……low price isn’t always a good thing. It’s usually a sign of fast fashion which involves slavery, disrespect, and suffering. It indicates how we, as consumers, want immediate satisfaction in buying a lot for a little and view garments as disposable. And it probably indicates a low quality product that won’t last very long. I’m not saying this is always the case in a cheap find, but a lot of times it is. It’s time to rethink how we respond and focus less on bragging about the price because as Lucy Siegle says “Fast fashion isn’t free. Someone somewhere is paying.”
People probably immediately regret when they compliment me….I launch into the whole damn story. Like “Thanks, this was ethically made by women in India using fair trade practices, traditional block printing, and organic cotton” or whatever the story of the piece maybe. And this sparks some really interesting conversation. I’ve been asked “what is fair trade” or “why organic cotton” and other questions that open the doors to meaningful conversation regarding the fashion industry. But I get it, not everyones closet is 100% ethical….not even mine to be honest. We’re all doing the best we can to be conscious consumers! But the idea behind this response is focusing on the story of the garment. All of our garments have stories whether it’s how they were made, what we did while wearing the garment, or what you love about the garment. Here are some responses to consider instead of responding with the classic low price go-to.
How long you’ve had the garment.
This is a personal favorite response of mine, particularly for fast fashion pieces I' had before I started my conscious consumer journey. “Thanks I’ve had it for 7 years.” This is a good reminder that clothes are not disposable and that this garment still have value after all these years.
What you love about the piece.
This one is great because it reminds us what we love about a specific article of clothing encouraging us to be conscious of the value this piece adds to our wardrobe. Saying what we love about a piece also makes us more conscious of what we have in our own closets. A lot of times we have so many clothes in our closet….we forget what patterns, styles, and pieces are in our closet. Then if you’re out shopping, see something you like, purchase it….only to come home and realize you have a top just like it. By stating, “Thanks, I love this top because of the floral pattern and fit & flare style,” you are more likely to be conscious of what’s in your closet and can prevent you from making impulse purchase in the future.
Why you bought the piece.
This one goes hand in hand with what you love about the piece because it makes you more conscious about purchasing habits and can prevent impulse buys in the future. Even if your closet isn’t 100% ethical fashion (don’t fret conscious closets are a journey) this is still a valuable response. “I bought this piece because I loved the way it looked on me” or “I bought this piece because the bold colors bring out my eyes.” Or “Thanks, I bought this while on vacation in Florida.”
By being aware of sentimental value our clothes may bring us, this can help us to reduce what we view as disposable garments. We all have those special articles of clothing. Some responses could be, “Thanks this is the shirt I wore when I went on my first date with my boyfriend” or “Thanks, this is the dress I graduated college in.” The possibilities are endless! This more personal response is sure to keep the conversation going.
Think twice before immediately hopping to the deal of the garment and consider sharing a piece of your garments story. You never know where the conversation might lead!