Is your t-shirt cheaper than a sandwich? Why Comoditi is not a fashion brand
Consumerism is hard to explain when it is the ocean and we are the plankton. Humans are social animals, we evolved in small groups which means one of our greatest motivations is to show off our status. In a capitalist economy, we do so by buying products, way too many products.
Fashion is consumerisms favourite child - a keen purveyor of the 'newness' mechanism. A trait fashion brands jump on by convincing the consumer that they are simply not cool unless they keep up with the latest 'look' every six months.
Comoditi’s outlook is the opposite - we believe in sustainability and minimalistic lifestyles where we buy only what we need and make it last. We believe quality items should only get better with age (just like us). So, if fashion is hyper-consumerism where we treat clothes as chewing gum, Comoditi is definitely not a fashion a brand.
“We believe quality items should only get better with age (just like us).
We live in a world where we can buy a t-shirt cheaper than a sandwich. How is that possible? How can something that needs to be grown, sewn, harvested, knitted, stitched, transported and packaged be so cheap? The fashion industry is one of the largest industries in the world and one of the most resource demanding causing social, political and environmental problems in the countries that produce it. In China it’s said that you can tell the colour of the next season by the colour of the river.
With our global population growing, there are major issues that must be faced head on: by 2025, 40% of the population won’t have clean drinking water - the textile industry is accountable for 17% - 20% of industrial water pollution. By 2050, the fashion industry will consume a quarter of the world’s annual carbon budget. Yet, less than 1% of the materials used in fashion are recycled.
It’s time to get serious about these matters. We are moving towards a population of nearly 9 billion people, with diminishing resources, loss of biodiversity and climate change. We have no other choice but to act responsibly and to change the way we consume. No matter if we are a brand or a customer, we are all global citizens. As global citizens our planet is our responsibility.
We all need to be conscious about our actions and what it means over time when we buy a new pair of jeans - 20 thousand litres of water are needed to create just 1kg of cotton, 1kg of cotton equals only a tee and a pair of jeans. Did I mention cotton uses as many pesticides as corn?
Fashion companies have started acknowledging and understanding this fact. There is a focus shift to a circular economy, and sustainability is evolving from being a venue of fragmented initiatives to being an integral and defining part of the entire value chain.
“In China it’s said that you can tell the colour of the next season by the colour of the river.
However, to make a real impact in the world, we all need to change the way we think about clothes - although buying less is not the solution by itself, we have to stop seeing clothes as disposable. We have to start to be conscious about the impact of our actions - when we buy a pair of jeans, those jeans have already had a great impact even when they belong to a sustainable supply chain - there is always waste involved in creating. Let’s buy quality over quantity, let’s not see our clothes as chewing gums but as something without an expiry date. Let's think about those evolved in the production of the piece, let’s think about the water spent, the carbon emissions, the non reusable plastic and the pesticides. Let’s not buy unless it is a commodity.
Our goal at Comoditi is to not only to create quality jeans but also to educate the consumer about how to make jeans last until their only solution is to be recycled or decomposed in the garden. So, we are doing our part by creating durable jeans that we want to be loved and comfortable. We don’t want to follow trends - we create timeless jeans with a basic design that never goes out of fashion. We believe quality is sustainability.
The most difficult part is to change the mindsets. We all need to work together in this part - buy less, buy responsibly, be aware of the impact. Let’s change attitudes together so we can stop mindless consumption and live a happier, simpler life without having to move to Mars. Then, Comoditi can be called a fashion brand.
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