Shopping while living a slow lifestyle can be tricky; especially in Egypt, where most people shop from Fast Fashion retailers without giving it a second thought.
There is a very common assumption that connects good quality to higher prices which is not necessarily correct but it’s also not far from the truth.
From a monetary point of view, think of the clothing pieces bought as investments. Expensive doesn’t always mean good quality, just as cheap doesn’t always have to mean low quality; however, when something is “suspiciously cheap” (like those L.E 175 Bershka shirts) – then it obviously is not the quality we would expect them to be.
Good quality clothing means clothes that can last a long time – maybe even long enough you could pass them down to your grand-kids as vintage pieces – and for this, we need to always make sure to consider “timeless” pieces.
Shopping is definitely always better when the good quality clothes are reasonably priced; however, if an item is a little on the pricey side, then it should definitely be worth the investment.
Timeless pieces of clothing are those that never go out of style no matter what year it is.
Think, for instance, of the classic Burberry trench coat vs. the 1980’s and 2012’s neon clothing craze; the former is instantly recognizable for its sleek, classic and timeless aesthetic while the latter was merely a trivial trend, lasting only for a few months, quickly turning into a “horrible bore”.
But then again, price isn’t the only indicator on how to spot a clothing item of excellent quality; in fact, it is the least reliable source. It’s more important to focus on the item production itself, the materials used, and how it was manufactured.
Here’s what we need to look at to find good quality apparel items
Good quality clothes are made out of good quality material
Very simply put, when fetching for an item, we need to feel it and look for defects like lumps, rips, or holes. We need to pay attention to how it is woven or knitted it should be tight, even and consistent – unless the style entails the item should be purposefully loose or inconsistent.
Although the bigger picture is always what we focus on the most, the small details are actually what contributes to the overall final image, which makes them of high importance as well. Zippers, buttons, cords, etc. all these small functionality details should be in good shape, properly functioning, and durable.
Good quality materials are important; however, if the garment is not constructed properly, it is likely to fall apart after a few washes.
The best places to assess whether a garment is properly constructed are all the spots where the garment is stitched together; the arms, the sides, the seams. The stitches should be straight and not too far apart.
Don’t forget to turn the item inside out and inspect it from the inside.
What type of fabric is more durable and best to wear at the same time?
Most of the clothing fabrics are usually fitting in one of three categories: Natural, Synthetic, Semi-Synthetic.
The choice of material type becomes of higher importance when we opt in creating a balance between fashionable and conscious.
Synthetic Material Fabrics
These fabrics are made in fabrics through a process of petroleum extraction from the earth in order to manufacture soft and silky fabrics which are also plastic.
This category includes:
Polyester, for instance, is made out of Polyethylene Terephthalate which is the basic ingredient used to make plastic bottles.
We need to avoid synthetic materials as much as we can as these are the worst to wear and are also the most harmful to the environment.
Polyester is more harmful than one might perceive. Clothes made out of synthetic materials contain toxins like Formaldehyde, Brominated Flame Retardants, and Fluoridated Chemicals to provide “non-iron” and “non-wrinkle” qualities.
When we wear a synthetic garment, the skin interacts with the fabric and this is enough to start causing risks of infertility, several respiratory diseases, contact dermatitis, and cancer.
The more clothes manufactured with synthetic material we own, the greater the risk of absorbing toxic, health-harming chemicals.
Semi-Synthetic Material Fabrics
This material type is definitely not the least (harmful) category. Semi-synthetics are fabrics of a natural source, but require processing to transform that natural source into a fiber that can be used for making the cloth itself.
This category includes:
Natural Material Fabrics
These fabrics usually come from farms, they are the plants and vegetables of our wardrobes. This category includes:
And many more plant-derived fabrics.
Items made from natural materials are the most ethical choices of clothes as well as the least harmful to the environment.
Blended Fiber Fabrics
Blended fiber fabrics are produced through the process of creating a blend of 2 or more fabric fibers – synthetic, semi-synthetic, and natural. This is the type of item on which tag you find stated that it is 72% cotton and 28% polyester.
These fabrics are non-recyclable material. The technology that should separate molecules for the material to be able to go through the recycling process hasn’t been discovered yet.
This is why we need to stay away from any clothes made out of blended fibers fabrics.
Last but not the least, reparable clothes are always a smart investment and a more sustainable choice than products that need to be completely replaced.
Here is a series of questions to help you assess before taking the decision of buying any item:
- Are the materials of this item and the quality of its details showing its durability?
- Was the product made ethically and – if possible, sustainably?
- Would it repair easily?
- Is this product’s design timeless?
Remember! Think of your clothes as a conscious and ethical investment and always buy accordingly.