Gaining a person’s trust isn’t as easy as losing it. Most of us enter into a relationship without even thinking about whether or not we’ll trust someone. It’s kind of expected to give the benefit of the doubt so we dive right in unconsciously handing over our trust with the unconscious hope we won’t be disappointed.
Sometimes we realize after just a few minutes of small talk that this person we’re dealing with doesn’t really give a damn about us. Other times we lose trust after years of being faithful to a partner or a dear friend, only to be left feeling betrayed and leery of trusting anyone ever again (or at least for a long time).
Mending a trust or reestablishing it when it’s been broken between two people is what movies and love songs are made of. It’s hard.
Trust doesn’t have to be personal. We can trust celebrities, politicians, established organizations and even businesses just to find they really don’t have our best interests at heart.
The realization these people or groups aren’t what they promised to be can really impact our emotions (just as they do on a personal level) leaving us skeptical and turning us all into cynics. We tend to take a company’s word and trust them on what they make or sell when we first discover them.
This is especially true in the garment business. There are thousands of clothing brands out there and all of them, including me, are vying for your business. We’re all spotting the trends, focusing on what makes us unique and sharing our individuality on the internet constantly but buyer beware; just because a company appears to be wholesome and good for the planet doesn’t always make it true.
Maybe because I’m in the garment business, I’ve noticed a new trend. The big fast fashion guys are doing their best to look “sustainable” or “environmentally” concerned. Walk into any Forever 21, H & M, or Zara store and you’ll see a sign saying they’ll take your old clothes and recycle them.
Sounds like a good gesture right?
Sadly, they don’t share the fact that most of the clothes sent to resale shops are thrown out, especially the ones they manufacture because they don’t stand up to long time use. Of course, they don’t share how and where their clothes are made, what they do with the waste (there’s a lot) after making their clothes and what happens to the water surrounding their factories after dyeing all these garments. They continue to pollute and destroy the planet while making clothing that gets thrown into landfills. Sorta makes you question if you can really trust anything they say.
Yeah, I sound like a broken record. I’m constantly screaming about the need for consumers to do their homework and hold companies responsible for how they manufacture their products. My friends and family are tired of my rant, and frankly I’m tired of always shouting about it, but for me it all comes down to trust.
We don’t give that partner who betrayed our trust a second chance (well not easily anyway) so why do we let big corporations get away with betraying us?
Why do we continue to support them just because they put a sign in their stores saying they’ll recycle our clothes now?
Fast fashion retailers need to be held accountable for what they sell and the only way to show them you don’t support them is to not purchase their clothing. Just remember, fast fashion isn’t only stocked in large chain stores.
Just the other day, I worked with a small boutique whose owner admitted she purchases fast fashion when stocking her store. She heads to L.A. and shops for her stock in an open market outside the L.A. Apparel Mart where all the clothing is made in China using slave labor and shops that pollute and destroy our planet. She really fools you into thinking she’s buying responsibly made clothes too. Her shop sits in one of the highest rent districts in Chicago and at first glance, it looks quaint and expensive.
But take a closer look and you’ll notice that $60 top may not be cut on grain (straight) and after one wash, it will look more like one of my dog’s twisty toys than the sweet little top you thought it was. That’s because she only paid $3.00 for it and didn’t give a second thought to what she was buying and where it was made. Years ago my good friend sold her beautiful, hand-made clothing to this very shop and I was stunned to hear this shop owner turned to buying crappy fast fashion. I left completely disheartened and now I can’t trust that anything she sells in her store is made responsibly.
So don’t just mistrust the big fashion guys. Really look at those little boutiques too.
Ask the owner/buyer where they purchase their stock from, especially if they sell brands you don’t recognize. Fast fashion comes in all colors and sizes and it’s up to us to do our homework and hold all retailers responsible for what they sell.
Ask “Who Made My Clothes?” and think before you buy.
Yeah, it’s only clothing on the surface but the textile business is the second highest polluter behind oil and in my book, I can’t trust any of them unless I really know all about them.
– Germaine Caprio, Company Owner & Designer
TO HEAR FROM YOU
What are some companies you trust?
Please share your own thoughts with us – let’s get a conversation started in the comments below! Your comment may even win you a free MAJAMAS garment this week!