Why We Need To Stop Blaming The System

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Top: Brandy Melville | Skirt: Michael Kors | Shoes: Steve Madden (photography by Brooke Helstrom)

This week marked week three of “midterms week”. It never ends. One of my tricks for feeling good going into a midterm or exam of any kind is dressing up. I know I sported leggings to class last week, but in a test situation, wearing something a bit nicer a) makes me feel more confident, b) helps me focus more – there’s just something too comfortable and relaxing about wearing workout gear or pajamas for a test, and c) forces me to wake up at a reasonable time before the exam. I’m sure 96.5% of this is all in my mind, but I’ll do whatever it takes. I had a midterm on Excel tonight for my statistics class, which was just riveting, and I sported this skirt I got for Christmas (thanks mom and dad) and my favorite kicks. Fingers crossed it helped me out. Aside from the craziness of the past few weeks, I found some time in my schedule to sit outside on McCarthy Quad to study, get sunburned in multiple places ~again~, read some non-school stuff, and attend a non-class-related lecture.

Sustainability & Style

James O’Toole give a lecture last week at USC; the question was “if you could give one last lecture, what would it be?” As a renowned speaker on leadership and ethics, I was expecting him to talk about, well, leadership and ethics. Instead, he gave a lecture on the importance of personal values when voting in an election. It was fascinating, and he described that there are always tradeoffs involved. The one quote that stood out to me the most, though, was “when people don’t get what they want they blame the system“. This immediately made me think about the fashion industry. With Sustainability & Style I’m pretty much blaming the system. Sure I single out specific brands every once in a while for not being either sustainable and ethical or not, but I don’t say relatively as much about consumers and their part in changing the fashion industry. Even there I’m blaming the system, saying that the industry is at fault. I now catch myself every time I blame the fashion industry for its lack of sustainable and ethical practices. Guess what: it happens a lot.

I also read a Forbes article last week and was absolutely inspired by this paragraph: “Women represent the largest market opportunity in the world. Globally, they control $20 trillion in annual consumer spending (U.S. dollars).  In the next five years, it is expected that this number will rise to $28 trillion.  How much is that?  It is more than the markets of China and India combined — the largest growth markets in the world.” What does this have to do with blaming the system, you ask? Let me tell you.

Because women are the “largest market opportunity in the world”, we have the power to demand change in the industry, and we don’t even have to blame the industry while we do it. We can ~silently protest~ by supporting brands that have sustainable and ethical business models and by boycotting those that don’t. If brands lose customers they’ll be forced to make a change or face their doom. While Sustainability & Style will continue to be about cool brands and people that are doing positive sustainable and ethical things in the industry, I’m going to shift my focus more to what we, consumers, can do to incite change. There will be more posts like this one about dealing with your denim sustainably and like this about buying used instead of new. We have the power, so why not use it?


These two have been on repeat since Sunday, they’re that good. “Headband” B.o.B ft. 2 Chainz Coucheron remix and “Radar Detector” Darwin Deez. Also the “Radar Detector” music video is SO worth watching. It’s very interesting.



  1. February 26, 2016 / 7:40 am

    Good luck on your midterms, I always find that dressing up for exams makes them easier because I feel more confident! I remember listening to “Radar Detector” in like 7th grade and being obsessed with it for a week straight… it’s such a fun song!

    xx Alyssa

    • tunesandtunics
      February 26, 2016 / 7:42 am

      I knew I wasn’t crazy – dressing up for exams definitely does make a difference. And “Radar Detector” is just so catchy I can’t stop listening!!
      Thanks for stopping by xx

    • tunesandtunics
      February 28, 2016 / 3:23 pm

      Thanks so much! I’m so glad there are other people that feel the same way. xx

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