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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
These last days I have given some thoughts om sartorialism, and how to combine it with terms like sustainable growth and sustainable society.
In other words: How can one combine ones interest in clothes with the sustainability aspect of society:

After some thought, I formulated five arguments/lines:

1: Avoid following fashion trends. Buy classic timeless clothes

2: Buy clothes of a high quality, which will last for a long time.

3: Use local tailors, and if possible, local fabrics

4: Look not only at the design, but also under what circumstances the clothes are produced.

5: Avoid buying clothes that has to be transported over long distances

I cannot say that I follow this today. I personally love to make bargains on internet sites in England and the US. When I buy the fabric for a suit, it is transported from England or Italy.

I still think, however, that the subject needs to be discussed

Is it possible to combine sustainability and sartorialism? And are there more arguments for this than the ones I have formulated?

 

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I would say that the main argument if you want to join "sartorialism" (as you call it) with "sustainable growth", is that If you buy good clothes that last a long time you don't have to buy many clothes.

Less clothes = less cotton fields = less irrigation and less pesticides = better environment.

Transporting clothes form Britain or Italy to Sweden is not so bad for the environment compared to transporting it from India or China. Especially if you include other factors like the harsher environment laws in Britain and Italy.

Purchasing a suit from Savile Row and wearing it for 20 years is probably more environmentaly friendly then purchasing five suits from H&M that are made in China and using them four years each.
 

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Of course one does not need to buy from Saville Row to get good quality that will last for many years - there are other places to buy good english suits and clothes for that matter.

However I do agree with your concerns about sustainability. For now I think the best we can do is to source fabrics and clothing as locally as we can - and to buy at a quality level that will last. In these terms I think of Sweden as being "local" to England although I wouldn't want to walk to Sweden:icon_smile_wink:

I hear that there is a movement that is growing amongst the middle classes to reject the likes of H&M and Primark and to buy better longer lasting quality - I'll believe it when I see it though!
 

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^ I think it appropriate to add 'thrifting or inheriting clothes' as argument or line #7, on your list. Can there be any more environmentally friendly procurement strategy than granting a second cycle of use to a (serviceable) garment that has been handed off? ;)
 

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I think its very noble to do your best for the world and for yourself, however, its my opinion that there are too few who would consider this for it to be of any real consequence.

Places like H&M stay in business, and are extremely successful, because they provide a cheap and easy way to look good. People know their clothing (from H&M) won't last more than a few seasons and thats its not made well, but will buy in because its cheap. The majority of the people in the world can NOT afford to spend much on clothing, therefore places like H&M can get away with shoddy production and still make a killing.

The perfect American example of this is Walmart. They have the absolute lowest prices on so many items. People know how poorly their employees are treated, and how shoddy much of the goods are, yet they still shop in droves. When I told a friend that I refused to step foot in that place, and instead choose the lesser of two evils for that type of shopping (Target), he simply said, "I can't afford to shop there, its so much cheaper at Walmart." And for millions he is absolutely correct. They have a TV ad campaign out now, showing people that instead of ordering a pizza once a week from a local pizzeria (average cost $14) you could get one of their "delicious" pre made pizzas for only $8...giving you a yearly savings of $312. Now for me, to not get "good" pizza to save $312 a year isn't worth it, but Walmart believes that there are enough people out there who DO think its worth it to justify a multi-million dollar TV ad campaign.
 

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One process that needs some carbon offsets is remote Savile Row tailoring. The sheep are raised in New Zealand, the wool is shipped to Scotland, the cloth sent to (in most cases) London, and the in-process suit is sent to the U.S. customer and then returned to England at least twice and often three or more times.
 

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I try to buy American-made clothing made of natural fabrics. At least we can regrow more cotton and wool. Shipping after manufacture is reduced by buying domestic goods. The volume of goods I purchase is reduced as my budget is met with fewer goods at American prices.

And let's face it, sporting a Southwick sack suit, Brooks Brothers button down, Talbot tie, and Alden wingtips...it doesn't get better than that IMO.
 

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This has to be one of the most sensible answers from a new member to one of the dumbest threads I've read in a long time. A hearty welcome to you, Lewi!
I think you are very unkind to call this thread "dumb". The OP is simply trying to have a discussion about sustainability and satorialism - you can disagree with him but please don't be rude.
 

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I think its very noble to do your best for the world and for yourself, however, its my opinion that there are too few who would consider this for it to be of any real consequence.

Places like H&M stay in business, and are extremely successful, because they provide a cheap and easy way to look good. People know their clothing (from H&M) won't last more than a few seasons and thats its not made well, but will buy in because its cheap. The majority of the people in the world can NOT afford to spend much on clothing, therefore places like H&M can get away with shoddy production and still make a killing.

The perfect American example of this is Walmart. They have the absolute lowest prices on so many items. People know how poorly their employees are treated, and how shoddy much of the goods are, yet they still shop in droves. When I told a friend that I refused to step foot in that place, and instead choose the lesser of two evils for that type of shopping (Target), he simply said, "I can't afford to shop there, its so much cheaper at Walmart." And for millions he is absolutely correct. They have a TV ad campaign out now, showing people that instead of ordering a pizza once a week from a local pizzeria (average cost $14) you could get one of their "delicious" pre made pizzas for only $8...giving you a yearly savings of $312. Now for me, to not get "good" pizza to save $312 a year isn't worth it, but Walmart believes that there are enough people out there who DO think its worth it to justify a multi-million dollar TV ad campaign.
It is certainly true that the majority of people in the world cannot afford good clothes but I think the OP is thinking of people living in Western economies. Your very good and clear examples are from the States so I guess you are thinking in these terms too. Whilst I certainly think most people cannot afford £2000 plus suits I dispute this "afford" word. It means so many things to different people. How is it that people today cannot afford clothes other than at the prices Walmart or H&M sell them at yet their grandfathers who were usually much poorer than them could afford much much better clothes and shoes - one reason is that their grandparents subscribed to the philosophy " less is more" the other is they spent far less on entertainment and far more on clothes and shoes that lasted. So except for the poorest of the poor ( and I have been quite poor until seven years ago when my wife went back to work) the word "afford" really means " making choices" . Modern people choose not to prioritise clothes and shoes - that's their choice but its not the same thing as a person on $1 a day in Malawi who really really cannot afford very much at all.
 

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It is certainly true that the majority of people in the world cannot afford good clothes but I think the OP is thinking of people living in Western economies. Your very good and clear examples are from the States so I guess you are thinking in these terms too. Whilst I certainly think most people cannot afford £2000 plus suits I dispute this "afford" word. It means so many things to different people. How is it that people today cannot afford clothes other than at the prices Walmart or H&M sell them at yet their grandfathers who were usually much poorer than them could afford much much better clothes and shoes - one reason is that their grandparents subscribed to the philosophy " less is more" the other is they spent far less on entertainment and far more on clothes and shoes that lasted. So except for the poorest of the poor ( and I have been quite poor until seven years ago when my wife went back to work) the word "afford" really means " making choices" . Modern people choose not to prioritise clothes and shoes - that's their choice but its not the same thing as a person on $1 a day in Malawi who really really cannot afford very much at all.
Very well put. I agree wholeheartedly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
This has to be one of the most sensible answers from a new member to one of the dumbest threads I've read in a long time. A hearty welcome to you, Lewi!
A thread has several purposes: To initiate a discussion, to exchange information, to get people involved, to get a reaction.

Obviously I have succeeded...:icon_smile_big:
 

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I think you are very unkind to call this thread "dumb". The OP is simply trying to have a discussion about sustainability and satorialism - you can disagree with him but please don't be rude.
Saying what is, and what is not, is not rude. It's called intellectual rigor, honesty, the vigorous and spirited airing of views. Don't be such a prude, Leatherman: politically correct threads such as 'sustainability' belong in a different section.

A dumb rose is a dumb rose is a dumb rose - and so it should be named.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
It is not stranger to think about sartorialism and sustainability, than anything else. When you buy a car, you may chose an etanol car, because of considerations about global warming.

When I buy coffe, I may chose a brand that is ecologically produced or has a fair trade mark on it.
Within clothes production, there are chains that make clothes out of organically grown cotton, or take a pride in giving the workers a fair salary.
How a cloth is produced, how it is transported, etc, is one of many considerations you may chose to make when you buy clothes.

Personally I like bespoke suits, in a classic style. The price is higher, but the suit itself lasts much longer than ordinary clothes, and therefore the economy for it is about the same as for cheaper clothes that will wear out after a couple of years.

How clothes are produced and transported is a complicated question: As Will pointed out, the raw material in itself is transported over long distances, in reality it also is very difficult to know exactly how the clothes are produced, during what circumstances, etc.

The subject may or may not be interesting for you. But I am certain that it will be of importance in the future, whether you like it or not.

But you might be right Arnaud, this may not be the right forum to discuss it.
 

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This has to be one of the most sensible answers from a new member to one of the dumbest threads I've read in a long time. A hearty welcome to you, Lewi!
I think you are very unkind to call this thread "dumb". The OP is simply trying to have a discussion about sustainability and satorialism - you can disagree with him but please don't be rude.
Saying what is, and what is not, is not rude. It's called intellectual rigor, honesty, the vigorous and spirited airing of views. Don't be such a prude, Leatherman: politically correct threads such as 'sustainability' belong in a different section.

A dumb rose is a dumb rose is a dumb rose - and so it should be named.
...but arnaud, rude is also rude and intransigence in such actions/assertions can become boorish! Have a nice day! ;)
 

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It is certainly true that the majority of people in the world cannot afford good clothes but I think the OP is thinking of people living in Western economies. Your very good and clear examples are from the States so I guess you are thinking in these terms too. Whilst I certainly think most people cannot afford £2000 plus suits I dispute this "afford" word. It means so many things to different people. How is it that people today cannot afford clothes other than at the prices Walmart or H&M sell them at yet their grandfathers who were usually much poorer than them could afford much much better clothes and shoes - one reason is that their grandparents subscribed to the philosophy " less is more" the other is they spent far less on entertainment and far more on clothes and shoes that lasted. So except for the poorest of the poor ( and I have been quite poor until seven years ago when my wife went back to work) the word "afford" really means " making choices" . Modern people choose not to prioritise clothes and shoes - that's their choice but its not the same thing as a person on $1 a day in Malawi who really really cannot afford very much at all.
Well put Leather. I think availablilty also plays a large role in how people dressed then and now. Back then, people had no choice but to buy the goods that lasted long. Cheap clothing was that which was worn by people of the streets. Everyone wore tailored clothing well into the 1950's. Take a look at the stands in baseball games (or football matches) from the early 20th century. Everyone had their ONE well made suit, and thats it. There were no "nice looking" cheap clothes back then, no mall brands that kids could afford. Walmart and H&M give them that choice, as does any other major brand that forces competition, which forces prices down, which allows people to choose to spend their money elsewhere, for a more "fruitful" life.

I think today we have a class of "working poor" that fits the bill for the largest percent of the population. These are the people that I argue, "can't afford" "good" clothing. The couple who may both have jobs and a kid, and struggle to make a car payment, and a mortgage payment, and a health insurance payment. These are the people who need to find the best prices for what they need...hence being able to save $312 a year from a Walmart pizza would appeal to them. I think there are far more of these folks out there than any other group, be it rich or poor. I believe most of the middle class falls into this "working poor" group.

I think, while the "less is best" model for the environment may be true, comparing how we dressed now to 100 years ago is like apples and oranges.
 

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So except for the poorest of the poor ( and I have been quite poor until seven years ago when my wife went back to work) the word "afford" really means " making choices" .
My wife is leaving work this friday, to have our first baby... Am I in for a world of hurt (even now she doesn't quite agree with the price of my shoes)? :icon_smile_wink:

I think you couldn't be more right with the "afford" contra "making choices"! I have never had money to throw around, but I still wear quality clothes AND eat three meals a day!

I'm sorry to see comments lika Arnaud's on this forum - I was under the impression that the tone was always kept on the gentle side at AAAC, contrary to what is true about the few Swedish fora I visit... En riktig surgubbe! :icon_smile:
 
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