See ya later, High Street…
…like I buy clothes but whatever
Now, I am not much of a shopper, that’s probably why the fashion section of my blog is more or less empty (#sorry) but when I do go shopping, I don’t really pay attention to where/how/what the clothes are made of. Essentially, I have started to learn more about the fashion industry and where clothes come from. It’s really funny because as I was procrastinating on writing this post I saw Downtown Demure’s post about her own ethical fashion journey (she also has great information breaking down the key facts) which really inspired me to get this done!
Long story short, I have been doing a lot of research on the fashion industry. Watching documentaries such as The True Cost (it’s on Netflix) and Britain’s Cheap Clothes and reading books such as Silent Spring by Rachel Carson, makes it very difficult to look fashion brands the same way. If you’re interested in learning more, those are great places to start.
Before we continue, here are some key terms:
- Ethical Fashion/ Sustainable Fashion – Clothes that are made, sourced, and produced with the environment, welfare of people, or both in mind. Also consists of second-hand and vintage shops which keeps clothing in use and out of landfills or incinerators.
- Fast Fashion – Think of companies who update their website with new items on an almost daily basis for low prices. Also, beware because just because something is expensive doesn’t mean it is any more ethical or sustainable. Some of these luxury brands are produced in the same factories as regular brands, JS.
So, what prompted me to pursue more sustainable shopping habits, you ask?
Well maybe you didn’t but I’m telling you anyway.
There was an outfit combination that I wanted to try, so naturally, I head over to my favourite online retailer (who will remain nameless!) and see the item in question for less than £12.
Then I started to think, why is it £12, how much did the workers make? Yes, I know all about economies of scale, blah blah. So then I started to consider what’s the material, though? Is it biodegradable? Cotton isn’t even as good for the environment as it seems so…etc etc. Obviously, all of this reading material did a number on me.
Next thing I know I’m googling an ethical alternative and the only one I find is £70. I was like, Nah, fam. I ain got it.
So, until I do got it, I’ve decided to make a few changes!
Building My Ethical Wardrobe
- Keeping what I have – So TollyDollyPosh made a super good point when she said the first step isn’t to throw or give away all of the clothes in your current wardrobe. I think when people first decide to make a lifestyle change they want to completely overhaul their current ways of living, however, the most ethical supply of clothes we have are the ones we already own!
- Wearing what I have creatively – Sometimes I look into my closet and I see nothing, everything is suddenly ugly or miraculously doesn’t fit, know the feeling? To combat this, I’m going to really step out of my shell and put together outfits that perhaps I wouldn’t have worn before.
- Upcycling – With clothes that I can’t possibly combine with anything, I’m going to get my creativity on and re-design them! I’m talking cutting, sewing, and combining clothes that we all know I won’t wear again into something new.
- Thinking before I buy -Do I need it? Will I wear it more than once? Will it last?
- Shopping from ethical fashion brands or second-hand – Guys, ethical fashion brands have evolved from hemp t-shirts and ugly slippers, now there are brands like Reformation and Zady, who are making some really cute clothes. Secondly, keeping clothes in rotation (and out of landfills) for as long as possible is better for the environment and I think, reduces some of the pressure on manufacturing new clothes.
- Swapping – I mean if I have something cute and you have something cute, what’s the problem? This could be us…but you playing.
- Asking #WhoMadeMyClothes – I hope I won’t have to avoid my favourite fashion brands forever but until they start to make substantial changes to how they manufacture clothes, I’m out *In my best Dragon’s Den voice” Until such a time I will be asking #WhoMadeMyClothes
Of course, this is gonna be hard, but this is something I want to transition to throughout the year. You can expect more fashion-esq posts from me since I suppose I will venturing into ethical fashion blogger land. So yeah that’s one of my goals for 2017, what do you think? Is it something that you would do?
You know passing judgment is not how I get down so I would love to know your thoughts!
BTW, are you following me on social media? If not, why doe?
Twitter and IG:@heyamonaie
Follow my Sustainable Fashion Instagram: @hnbstyle