If you're much of a blog reader, you've probably come across Stitch Fix before because bloggers often put together posts of themselves trying on the different pieces and explaining what they kept and what they sent back, and why. And it is FUN. It is so stinkin' fun. It's kind of like shopping with a friend, except the person is rarely actually your friend and it all happened days ago. But still. It really is fun. A lot of my very favorite bloggers do it, and I read every single time.
So with all that rah-rah toe-touch enthusiasm up there, what's with the title of this post?
1. Using Stitch Fix is not the right fit for me because it is not a company that guarantees all of its products are ethically sourced. With all of the dangerous working conditions and unjust labor practices in the fashion world, I personally feel very strongly about knowing my clothing items are sourced responsibly. Now I am definitely a work in progress here. I actually just bought a package of underwear from Target before realizing that PACT Apparel has sweatshop-free unmentionables. But there's always next time. The point is just that I'm intentionally working towards it. (I also really enjoy shopping secondhand as an alternative to the more pricey fair trade companies. That way, I'm not producing any new waste while also contributing to the local economy and often a nonprofit.)
I know that Stitch Fix lets you communicate with your personal stylist, so it might be possible to request only American-made items. I honestly don't know. If you're reading and you've tried this, please tell us in the comments!
2. Another reason I've decided not to try Stitch Fix is because I know myself and my own weaknesses. I know that I can easily justify buying something that I don't actually need. I've written before about how I struggle with this, and having a box of cute clothes delivered to my doorstep feels like a recipe for disaster! I know some people can use it for only very specific purchases (a high quality coat, a cocktail dress) and send the rest back, but I also know they offer a 25% discount if you purchase all 5 items in your box. For myself, I would be awfully tempted to keep an extra shirt that I didn't even need just to get that sweet discount.
If you think about it, there are so few items of clothing that we actually need. Most of us surely own twice as much, if not exponentially more, than we need. And there's nothing wrong with having a few things that are just for special occasions, but I think as a society we're pretty terrible at knowing when enough's enough. I know that for me personally, I can experience jealousy and discontent when I let myself hang too much importance on what's on my body. I enjoy looking cute but if I spend to much time thinking about what I'm wearing, I don't feel as happy or as free.
3. I see the consequences of consumerism not just in myself, but in the culture all around me. We wear an item of clothing for one season before throwing it out or, if we want to feel better about it, donating it. (Tangent: have you ever seen the donation warehouse of Goodwill? I'm pretty sure they're not needing donations at the rate we're sending 'em. If the idea of future donation is what placates our mind regarding making new purchases, we should probably rethink how to best support nonprofits and those in need.) So then - shock! - we date a person for one season before dumping them. We marry a person for a decade before leaving them. We commit to a church for awhile before skipping out on them. We care for the sick for a few years before euthanizing them.
Yeah, maybe that last one was harsh, but it cannot be denied that we as a society do not want to be inconvenienced. We don't want to think about the grand-scheme implications of our every day choices, of the culture we are building in every little way whether we realize it or not.
ALL THAT TO SAY!
If you are reading this and you're someone who uses and loves Stitch Fix, please know that I am honestly not judging. I think it's important for each of us to think deeply about the decisions we make, but I absolutely realize that we can come to different conclusions about those decisions based on our own individual circumstances and convictions. I never want this blog to be a guilt-trip or a "holier than thou" place. I want it to be a place where we think seriously about our lives and our world, and are free to disagree with one another in a friendly way.
And also, for full (if not ironic) disclosure! I actually gave my sister a Stitch Fix box for Christmas last year (meaning I paid the styling fee). She's a hardworking teacher and was constantly bemoaning the fact that she didn't have anything to wear to work, plus I knew she's the type of person who would love a surprise personal stylist. I figured it was up to her whether she bought anything (she did), but I was paying for the experience. So yeah, string me up by my toes and flog me if you must! ;)