I am very proud of my kids for being vegan. It shows a commitment to world and animal welfare that I wish I had, but sadly I have an addiction to double cream. However, I do join them in another moral crusade, as this one is much easier.
I no longer buy new clothes, and when the time comes to invest in some new basics (who wants to buy pants from Oxfam?), I will certainly not be choosing any fast fashion. According to my son who studies fashion, the fast-fashion industry is the second-most polluting industry on the planet.
Choices, choices, choices
Anyway, lecture over. The fun part about buying ‘vintage’ is the great shopping opportunities it affords and which I now feel positively virtuous for taking up. London’s Portobello Market is heaving with clothing treasures, and if you are partial to a cashmere jumper, then the only problem is choosing which colour you want. And you don’t have to pay more than £12!
Even if you aren’t in the mood for buying clothes, Portobello is a great experience. It is a riot of colour, sounds and people. I started to count the number of languages I could hear being spoken, but as I don’t have a very good ear and can’t easily tell Portuguese from Spanish, I gave up.
Heaven for shopping addicts
The only problem with deciding to buy second-hand, is that I seem to be spending more time shopping than ever! Wherever I go there appear to be vintage shops that call out my name. Last week, I was in Leeds and now possess a gold, lurex top that I really don’t need. But hey! Christmas is just around the corner.
Your moral duty
As creatives, you have a huge amount of power to influence what people buy. This is a serious responsibility.
Of course, many people refuse to work on certain accounts, tobacco being one that is probably the most boycotted. But what issues do you really care about, and are you happy to turn down work, or maybe compromise your job, by refusing to have anything to do with certain brands?
When I worked as a junior copywriter, I certainly would never have dared to voice my doubts about some of the clients’ products. Now I am older, I hope that I would be more brave, but luckily, as a journalist, I don’t feel that it is my job to sell. This may be another example of self-deception, especially as I am now about to promote a cause. Which is: if you can, buy secondhand!