Watch this moving clip about what’s going on these days in New York’s Garment District. I don’t think I’ll forget this video the next time I buy something with a “Made in New York” label on.

I feel sorry for the unfortunate garment workers who don’t get the compensation they deserve.

Especially now when a lot of things are made in far-flung places while retail price tags remain the same, or, even higher than what was being charged before.

This is nothing new in the fashion industry. Many brands have come under fire for various labor issues (unfair compensations, inhumane working conditions, etc) elsewhere around the world.

Ideally, I want to buy smarter, buy less and of course, love what I already have, which means wearing the things I own many, many times until I get sick of it.

Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.

The temptation to buy affordable, fast fashion is inescapable. After all, not everyone has deep pockets.

When I did the laundry at my boyfriend’s apartment two weeks ago, I felt disgusted at myself for having amassed all these socks over three months of traveling. Thirty six pairs to be exact. When you hop from one city to another, it’s more cost-efficient to buy new, fresh pairs of socks (I buy H&M or Uniqlo socks… for what, $5 a pair, maybe less?) instead of sending them to the hotel cleaners, paying triple or quadruple the amount you originally paid for just to wash them. It’s impractical to pay $15 (plus tax, plus service charge, plus plus whatever) to clean a $3.99 pair of coloured socks! Same applies to underwear. Try living out of a suitcase and tell me what my best option is.

And when the mood to splurge hits… what do you get? An “investment” piece, usually a very expensive classic, that you can use time and time again or do you splurge on something unique, bold and extraordinary that you can only use a handful of times? After all, you want value for what you are paying for….

Our lifestyles and resources (or lack thereof) dictate the choices that we make.

I’ve always disliked the idea of waste or wastefulness. My parents raised me and my siblings to finish everything that’s served on our plates. Growing up, I’ve heard the old line “there are starving children in Africa” countless of times.

Today, more than ever, I’ll do my best to be more conscious.