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Mindset Talk: Does everyone have the same 24 hours in a day?


Photo by Jess Bailey on Unsplash.

The Molly Mae controversy back in January highlighted the harsh reality of fast fashion's garment workers. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, here's a little recap:


Molly Mae, former Love Island star turned influencer and Pretty Little Thing creative director was interviewed in the podcast "Diary of a CEO", where she said:


"We all have the same 24 hours in the day."

She has 6.2M followers on instagram and appears to earn 275£ per hour through her position at Pretty Little Thing. The garment workers who make the clothes for this company had been revealed to earn below minimum wage, 3.50£ per hour, by an undercover investigation back in 2020 (let's hope it changed by now).


Quite understandably, the internet reacted to that statement by telling her that it's tone deaf and that someone like her can never understand what it means to be poor and how difficult it can be to get out of poverty.


Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash.

Life is more expensive when you're poor

When you have to earn your money in low or minimum wage jobs, it's very difficult to rise out of this situation. First of all, you usually have very little free time, because if you worked less than full time (or endless overtime), you couldn't pay your bills. So, where are the hours in the day where you have time to start a business and earn big money? They are difficult to find, because after work, there are usually family responsibilities and household duties waiting and you're most likely very, very tired. Your 24 hours are, for the most part, set in stone, because of the pressure to work and make money.


Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash.

Living a life like this, from paycheck to paycheck and with little time off, usually means you can only spend your money on bare necessities and may even have to rely on government assistance. If you need something that is a bit more expensive, for example a new phone, computer or car, because your old one finally broke down, you usually have to pay for it in rates - making the overall cost of the item more expensive than if you were able to afford it in one payment. Life is more expensive when you're poor.


You can only ever afford lower quality - of shoes, clothes, electronics, and so on. Especially with shoes you can easily imagine that if someone buys a cheap, low quality pair of boots, they will be completely worn down after one season (if not earlier) and they have to buy a new pair every year. If they have the money to invest in a pair of high quality boots, they usually last for years, maybe even a lifetime.


Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash.

From generation to generation

If you're rich, you can afford a nanny whenever you need one, even when you're off work, to take time for yourself, your self development projects and side hustles. You have money to spend, so your child can take classes where they develop their creativity, logic, movement and so on, already setting them up early for success, enriching their skillset. You can afford the best schools, and so on.


If you're poor, you probably can't afford a nanny. Maybe some family member can take the kids or they can play on their own. They're not going to their violin or gymnastics classes. It's difficult to find time for your self development projects because you cook, clean and work. If you have no time to spend on starting a side hustle and building it into a successful business, allowing you to pay for your children's development, good schools and opportunities, the chance that the next generation stays in the same financial place as you is very high.


Photo by 🇸🇮 Janko Ferlič on Unsplash.

Why buying from ethical and sustainable brands matters

We think it's safe to say that the Pretty Little Thing garment workers don't have the same 24 hours as Molly Mae. One step to change how vastly different their 24 hours are is paying them more. Not just minimum wage. A wage that allows them to live lives that aren't more expensive. A wage that allows them to pay for things in one go instead of multiple rates. They need working conditions that protect them in case of sickness and injury, where they receive their salaries no matter what. Too often people working low wage jobs have to go to work, healthy or sick, because they're afraid to lose their job or missing hours means less food on the table.


It's very hard to imagine that profit oriented, fast fashion brands will suddenly change their practices. This is why you should always try to buy from trustworthy slow fashion brands, if you can afford it. The less people are willing to buy from brands that push out weekly new collections, for ridiculously low prices, paying their influencers thousands while underpaying garment workers, the less these companies are incentivized to keep up these business practices (or at least we hope so dearly!) You can also push for political change, voting for those who want to enforce social and green policies, so the laws and surveillance of companies become stricter.


Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash.

If you're buying from XALI for example, you contribute to women having 24 hours in the day that are vastly different from fast fashion garment workers. They may still not have the same 24 hours as mega-rich Molly Mae, but they are able to live a life with much less stress. They work fewer hours than fast fashion garment workers, receive better pay and better opportunities. We would have loved to make our own report on the manufacturing site of our suits in Bali, but they are not allowed to give tours at the moment due to ongoing C19-regulations.


We're very aware that not everyone can afford to buy from ethical brands because it's too expensive. It's okay to buy from fast fashion brands if it's your only choice. And there are ways to make your fast fashion items last longer and have a more sustainable life (which we will cover in another blog post).


Will last you for a lifetime: our XALI swimmers.

What about my own 24 hours?

While it's easy to criticize Molly's statement, we also understand her sentiment to a degree. There are a lot of people who aren't using their 24 hours to change things they don't like about their lives, but they actually would have the time and resources.


Maybe it's better to look at it this way: we don't all have the same 24 hours in a day, but for many people, there is room to change and start using those 24 hours differently. If you look at your own life, you can spend 24 hours one way or another.


Photo by team voyas on Unsplash.

For example: If you're reading this blog article, you at least had time to sit down, open your laptop or phone and scroll on social media to stumble upon the link to this article. Many of us spend time on unintentional things that add up (phone time, watching Netflix, and so on). Some of that time can be used more wisely, don't you agree? It's definitely difficult to change these habits, because it needs more energy to learn a new thing or start a new habit than consuming information on your phone or TV. It's absolutely natural to feel resistance to change here.


This is where mindset comes into play. Do you want to feel passive and let your life happen to you, secretly (or not so secretly) wishing that some things were different, or do you want to adopt a growth mindset and change? (It's important though to stay in a healthy growth mindset - you could also overdo it and stay dissatisfied).


Ideas for baby-step changes in your 24 hours

Do you dream of reaching a goal like starting to work out, or starting your own YouTube channel? But realistically you only have 20 minutes to spend on it every second day or 10 minutes every day? You can still choose to invest these minutes into reaching these goals, instead of scrolling through your social media feeds or watching a TV show during that time.


Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash.

The information on how to reach your goals or how to exercise is available for free on the internet, for almost any skill you can imagine. Wanna learn a language? Download Duolingo and make it a habit to practice 10 minutes after breakfast every single day. Wanna start exercising? There are endless free 10-minute follow along workout routines on the internet. Pledge to yourself to workout for 10 minutes every single day during lunch hour or before dinner. Wanna learn how to edit YouTube videos and start a business? There are free tutorials on YouTube for that, and there exist editing programs for free that do a pretty decent job! You just have to figure out if you can block out an hour or two on two days of the week to squeeze in learning this new skill and writing your business plan. High quality microphones and cameras may be expensive, but there are plenty of people who built successful channels who used nothing but their phone's camera and freeware at the beginning.


Also, maybe your first step to changing your 24 hours is practicing sleep hygiene and getting more sleep, so you become healthier and have more energy for everything else!

The key to changing your current 24 hours and working towards your goals is that you focus on organization and planning, focus on baby steps and consistent effort over time. You don't have to change how your 24 hours look within 24 hours or 24 days. More realistically, it might take 24 months! You've probably read or heard this before, but patience is a super important ingredient in the recipe to achieve change.


On a side note: if you've struggled all your life with organization, planning, keeping focus and have problems with executive functioning (initiating a task or finishing a task after you started), it may also be worth it consulting a coach or psychotherapist. They will help to get to the bottom of your executive function problems, because certain mental health conditions or neurotypes can affect this and there are treatment options.


Where mindset ends and systemic issues start

We are sure there are some people for whom 20 minutes for self development every second day sounds like an unrealistic luxury. This is where "mindset" stops working and the issue is very likely systemic. All we wanted to say with this article is that we totally HEAR what people mean by Molly Mae being tone deaf. At the same time, we also believe that if you find yourself regularly scrolling social media for longer than 15 minutes, you DO have the capacity to change your 24 hours, within the limits your specific life situation brings.


Photo by Harman Sandhu on Unsplash.


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