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Caitlin MacLeod

Lifestyle During Wartime

May 29th, 2019
Lifestyle During Wartime

The war on fashion affordability has arrived at our doorsteps. Rise up, those who value the £5 LBD, the one-wear statement skirt, the bodysuit bulk buy. So-called ‘sustainable fashion’ is here, and it wants to steal our deals, stop our bags, and make us wear dresses more than once. We shall not surrender, say I.  


Those who would raise arms against us, such as reporter and professional hater Stacey Dooley, will tell you that ‘large bodies of water are disappearing because cotton is so thirsty.’ She will use ‘science’ and ‘facts’ and ‘bbc-funded investigative journalism’ to reveal to you that one 100% cotton hoodie uses the same amount of water as can be used as drinking water by one person for 25 years. I don’t know about you, but if I had to go without my cheap ASOS and boohoo buys, I would die of thirst anyway.


The foot soldiers over at the Guardian tells us that ‘the fashion industry as a whole is contributing more to climate change than the aeronautical and shipping industries combined,’ like it’s a bad thing. Where I live, the climate is always cold, and I for one would love to see that change. I’m proud of my fellow environmentally oblivious peers for being the change they want to see in the world: change is part of life, and we have to move with the times, after all. Except when it comes to my purchasing habits. Those, I will never alter, and therefore will never falter in my campaign.


One particularly nauseating paragraph in this article stood out to me: ‘Environmental campaigners say people who want to be more sustainable should choose quality clothes and make them last as long as possible by learning to repair or rework them. Buying secondhand or vintage clothing, considering renting outfits rather than buying, and washing garments less often at lower temperatures in a full machine can all help.’ Translation: environmental campaigners understand nothing about the 21st century fashionista. Am I a millionaire? A seamstress? A worker, god forbid? I am certainly no renter of outfits, no slob who would skimp on my washing loads. This radical movement would have us all share, swap and sew, like socialists in squalid sweatshops: no, we are capricious capitalists, changing clothes as curtly and carelessly as can be, catering to our craving for the more, more, more.


What upsets me most is that I find us seemingly under attack from our own: the millennial and gen-Z generations. Where is that archetypal Young Person portrayed by our beloved media, obsessing only over themselves, or shall I say, themselfies? Where is the mindlessness, the selfishness, the pure narcissism that supposedly defines and unites us? Instead, I find myself facing down a generation of eco-conscious upcyclists, taking to Ebay and Depop to sell their old clothing and buy – and let me brace myself here – used items. Some, though admittedly not many, items have even been worn more than once or twice.


They came for our takeaway Frappuccino cups and our bendy straws and we stood by and watched. But fear not, troops: it is I, Kitty Crawford, who will lead the charge against this abhorrent war on our fast fashion. I mean, ‘sustainable clothing trends’? It’s enough to make you cry, and those are tears which could go into making a cute cotton hoodie.

The following is an article included in A Guide to Being Unsustainable: Part 2, which is soon to be published. Both Part 1 and 2 will be combined to form a lifestyle Colour Supplement with the  aim of helping us all tune into our changing world. It will tackle a wide range of topics not limited to fashion, including travel, your money, relationship advice, film reviews and a horoscope.

You can find out more information at, and about the involvement of A Guide to Being Unsustainable in the Architecture Fringe 2019 programme at


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