I was planning on doing a post about my outfit from today but it’s somewhat late and I haven’t taken a photo yet, and feel the need to talk about this instead. Sorry I haven’t posted for so long, I’ve been trying to get an essay done, and will have exams and another 4500 whopper due in a couple of weeks, so it might be all quiet on the Western front for a while. But anyway....I’ve been thinking rather a lot recently about the whole idea of shopping in itself. After an interesting discussion at the Methodist Society about materialism, I felt the need to share with you chaps, since I guess it must be a dilemma that affects you too. My main problem is; much as I love clothes, I’m constantly aware that I don’t really need them. Not in a ‘I don’t need that micro trend crazy gold jumpsuit’ kind of a way, in a ‘I have more than enough clothes to wear, and I don’t ever really need to buy anymore, unless all my clothes wear through at the elbows and knees’. There are so many people in the world without clothes, or shoes, and even without food and access to water, I just feel guilty for spending my money in such a frivolous way. It seems completely wrong that here’s me who has all this money to spend on shoes and handbags and completely pointless things when there are so many people who don’t have anything. This is obviously coming from a very ‘Western colonial guilt’ perspective, and I realise that it’s very easy to get caught up in the moment, especially with shopping, and completely forget about these sorts of things. But I always think it’s important to view these things in perspective. Do I really need that denim jacket that will apparently make my life so much better?? When that money could go towards a water pump that really would change someone’s life? I try not to buy things from shops that can’t viably produce their clothes without some form of exploitation, but even with that, I just feel sometimes that this whole thing is just so wrong. I enjoy fashion and style as a hobby, and appreciate it as something fun to do, but because it’s so based on this capitalist form of exploitation I feel that my enjoyment isn’t relevant at all, not when it has such wide implications. Of course not just because the West exploits others to produce their cheap clothing, but also because this endless production of clothes is bad for the environment. This is why I prefer charity shopping if I can, because not only does the money go towards helping these people, but because I’m not sustaining this endless production of more and more clothes. Although, to counterbalance this, I feel like I need to buy things to help the economy, since if we have a weak economy people don’t have jobs and if we don’t have money we can’t give money to charity.... Urgh, why can’t we just do away with this horrible capitalism and all live in a great big clothes-sharing commune? I’m debating after my shopping ban for Lent that I may give up high street shopping, and only shop in charity shops and in vintage shops. Although there are no vintage shops near me, so that’s just charity shops then really. And although it would be difficult, I think it might inspire my style to branch out in another way, having to adapt my wardrobe to fit with the things I find. I don’t know, I’m not sure if there’s any solution to this. I think I’ll just start by making a concerted effort to use all the items in my wardrobe. Right, enough Communist ranting for today. Tell me what you think, I'd really like to hear some other opinions.