When I was in high school, every few months we had ‘no uniform’ days. I went to a private girls’ school, and ‘no uniform’ days were the equivalent to a teen fashion parade. It was a day where everyone could show how stylish, how trendy, how wealthy they were. The latest fad were low rise Sass & Bide jeans, if you had the logo plastered on your right buttock, it meant you could afford a $220 pair of jeans. You had made it.
Logos are part of our everyday lexicon. Most of us have grown up with so much advertising, we have become numb to it. Logos fill every inch of our digital, visual and mental space. When there is so much advertising noise in our everyday life, brands have to find new ways to scream louder to be heard above everyone else. This is true in the most literal sense – have you noticed how loud commercial breaks are compared to the actual television program? They do this for a reason, they want to shout louder, to demand more of your attention.
I used to live a logo-driven life. The latest Louis Vuitton handbag was a necessity, a Ralph Lauren polo shirt with the ubiquitous polo logo was worn proudly, even my flip-flips had to have the rhinestone Havaianas logo. God forbid, I wore a ‘no brand’ pair of flip flops!
Logos themselves mean nothing, yet they also mean everything. A YSL handbag means you are chic, a LV watch means you are rich, a BMW car means you have made it in the world. The product is no longer based on the functionality or even the aesthetics; it is based on what the brand represents. Brands are not just selling products, but are selling a lifestyle. It wasn’t always like this. The arrival of a logo-driven society changed in the money-hungry eighties. Until the early seventies, logos were discreetly sewn into the lining of coats on in the collars of shirts, nowadays, the logo is often unnecessarily large, they serve as screaming price tags to show off how much the item costs, rather than celebrating style.
I haven’t bought any new clothing in over three years because I am embracing a zero waste life. To me, a zero waste life is not just about being mindful of your waste, it is also about being mindful of your consumption. In boycotting the fast fashion industry, I’ve also boycotted logos. To me, clothing no longer is about status, it is about style. Living a logo-less life isn’t about deprivation, rather, it’s about creativity. Without the confines of logos and what they represent, I’ve actually become more stylish, more creative and more expressive. I have gained more freedom because no one owns me.
Living a ‘no logo’ life has allowed me newfound freedom. I am no longer a walking billboard for other brands, I am my own brand. I don’t have glossy hair, shiny straight teeth or a model-figure, but I am me. The authentic, completely flawed, yet unapologetically happy me.
Author: Anita Vandyke
Author Bio: Anita Vandyke runs a successful Instagram account (@rocket_science) about zero waste living. Anita is currently writing her first book “A Zero Waste Life: A Thirty Day Guide” to be published in June 2018 by Penguin Random House, Australia. For more information about the author please visit www.anitavandyke.com.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @rocket_science | http://www.anitavandyke.com.