The Impact of Choosing Quality Over Quantity When Building Your Wardrobe

by Lana Sands on Feb 19, 2024

The Impact of Choosing Quality Over Quantity When Building Your Wardrobe

In the world of fashion, the age-old adage "quality over quantity" holds more significance than ever, especially in the context of sustainability. Opting for timeless, well-crafted pieces instead of mass-produced, disposable fashion items not only benefits the environment but also has a considerable impact on the economy. Let's delve into why individuals should prioritize quality over quantity and explore the ripple effects on both a personal and global scale.

1. Environmental Impact:

  • Reduced Waste: Fast fashion's reliance on cheap materials and rapid production contributes to a staggering amount of textile waste. Choosing quality pieces means investing in items designed to withstand time, reducing the need for constant replacements and, subsequently, lowering the environmental footprint.

  • Resource Conservation: High-quality garments often use superior materials that require fewer resources in their production. Sustainable fabrics and ethical manufacturing processes contribute to preserving ecosystems and conserving precious resources.

2. Economic Implications:

  • Supporting Sustainable Practices: By investing in quality, sustainably produced clothing, consumers actively support businesses that adhere to ethical and environmentally friendly practices. This, in turn, encourages a shift in the industry towards more responsible manufacturing.

  • Job Creation and Fair Wages: Brands committed to quality often prioritize fair labor practices. Choosing such brands contributes to the creation of job opportunities and ensures that workers throughout the supply chain are paid fair wages.

3. Longevity and Cost-Effectiveness:

  • Longer Lifespan: High-quality garments are designed to endure both stylistic trends and the wear and tear of daily life. Choosing durable pieces means less frequent replacement, ultimately saving money over time.

  • Economic Efficiency: While the initial investment in quality items might be higher, the long-term economic efficiency becomes evident as these pieces outlast and outperform their cheaper, lower-quality counterparts.

4. Cultivating a Mindful Consumer Culture:

  • Shift in Consumer Mindset: Prioritizing quality over quantity encourages a shift towards mindful consumerism. It promotes the idea that each purchase is a conscious decision with lasting implications, fostering a more responsible and sustainable approach to fashion.

  • Reduced Impulse Buying: Investing in quality items encourages consumers to carefully consider their purchases, reducing impulse buying and contributing to a more intentional and thoughtful wardrobe.

The choice between quality and quantity in one's wardrobe extends beyond personal style preferences. It's a decision that holds the power to positively impact the environment, support ethical business practices, and foster a more sustainable and mindful global economy. By recognizing the long-term value of quality pieces, individuals can contribute to a healthier planet and a more resilient economic landscape.

 Shein vs Outerknown

Shein has been criticized as one of the worst offenders to the environment for several reasons:

  1. Fast Fashion Model: Shein operates on a fast fashion business model, characterized by rapid production, short product life cycles, and a high turnover of inventory. This approach encourages overconsumption and contributes to environmental degradation.

  2. Low-Quality Materials: Shein is known for using low-quality and inexpensive materials in its clothing, often made from synthetic fibers such as polyester. The production and disposal of these materials contribute to pollution, as they do not biodegrade easily.

  3. Manufacturing Practices: The environmental impact of Shein is exacerbated by questionable manufacturing practices. The brand has faced allegations of poor working conditions, low wages, and inadequate safety standards in its supply chain, particularly in overseas factories.

  4. Waste Generation: Fast fashion brands like Shein produce a large volume of garments quickly, leading to a significant amount of waste. Unsold or outdated inventory is often discarded, contributing to the growing problem of textile waste globally.

  5. Packaging Waste: Shein is criticized for excessive and non-sustainable packaging. The use of single-use plastics and non-recyclable materials in packaging adds to environmental concerns, especially considering the scale at which Shein operates.

  6. Lack of Transparency: Shein has faced criticism for a lack of transparency regarding its supply chain practices. The lack of disclosure about sourcing, manufacturing, and environmental impact makes it challenging for consumers to make informed and ethical choices.

  7. Questionable Ethics: Beyond environmental concerns, Shein has been accused of ethical issues related to intellectual property infringement and copying designs from independent artists and other brands without proper attribution.

It's important to note that Shein is not unique in these criticisms; many fast fashion brands face similar concerns. However, Shein's rapid growth and low pricing have drawn increased attention to its practices. Consumers concerned about environmental sustainability and ethical considerations in fashion may choose to support brands with more transparent and eco-friendly practices.

On the other hand, Outerknown is highly regarded in the eco-friendly and sustainable clothing landscape for several reasons, setting it apart as a leader in ethical and environmentally conscious fashion:

  1. Founding Principles: Outerknown was founded by professional surfer Kelly Slater and designer John Moore with a commitment to sustainability and transparency. The brand's core values are rooted in environmental responsibility and ethical practices.

  2. Sustainable Materials: Outerknown places a strong emphasis on using sustainable and eco-friendly materials in its clothing. The brand utilizes organic cotton, recycled polyester, hemp, Tencel, and other environmentally conscious fabrics, minimizing the ecological impact of its products.

  3. Fair Labor Practices: Outerknown is dedicated to fair labor practices and ensuring that workers throughout its supply chain are treated ethically. The brand collaborates with certified factories and strives to create positive working conditions for garment workers.

  4. Transparency: Outerknown prioritizes transparency in its operations. The brand provides detailed information about its supply chain, manufacturing processes, and the environmental impact of its products. This transparency allows consumers to make informed choices about the brands they support.

  5. Circular Fashion Model: Outerknown promotes a circular fashion model by encouraging consumers to recycle their old clothing. The brand participates in programs such as the ECONYL initiative, which recycles nylon waste into new fabric for Outerknown products.

  6. Innovative Initiatives: Outerknown is known for its innovative sustainability initiatives. For example, they have introduced the "Fair Trade Factory" program, ensuring that a portion of their sales goes directly to the workers who made the garments.

  7. High-Quality and Timeless Design: Outerknown emphasizes creating high-quality, timeless pieces that resist trends. This approach encourages consumers to invest in durable, long-lasting items, reducing the need for frequent replacements and contributing to a more sustainable wardrobe.

  8. Certifications: Outerknown has obtained certifications such as Fair Trade Certified and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), showcasing its commitment to meeting rigorous standards for ethical and sustainable practices.

Overall, Outerknown's commitment to transparency, sustainable materials, fair labor practices, and innovative initiatives positions it as a leader in the eco-friendly and sustainable fashion industry, earning the respect and admiration of environmentally conscious consumers and is available at Sands Boutique and other environmentally conscious stores.