About a year ago I made a quiet promise to myself that I was going to make better fashion choices and now is the time to make that blog official. I do not want to buy clothing that isn’t clear about how and where it has been made. I want to know that the clothes I love and enjoy have not been involved in someone else’s suffering, whether that be in terms of pay, working conditions or environmental factors. I want to support businesses that are trying to do things right, who actively foster good practices rather than just doing the bare minimum in order to keep their profits at the maximum. And rather than just talking about how dreadful it is, I want to put my money where my mouth is. So I’m going ethical. What does that mean?
- I am not going buy clothes from any high street stores, with the exception of some eco edits that have a clear ethical basis like ASOS Green Room.
- Before making a purchases, I’m going to research the manufacturing ethics of anywhere I buy from- including small businesses. No point supporting a small business if they source all their materials from an unknown supplier in India… The same is true of designer brands. A high price point does not ensure an ethical manufacturing process. Knowledge is power.
- I will look out for clothing and materials that have been made in Europe, the USA, or through fairtrade initiatives, so that I know that certain requirements about pay and conditions have had to be met.
- I will try to invest in high quality pieces, be more inventive with my styling and satisfy any ‘fast fashion’ urges though buying second hand in vintage shops, charity shops and Ebay.
This doesn’t mean I’m going to throw out everything I own and only wear hippy sacks hand woven by my own fair hand from now on, but as stuff wears out or I want to make new purchases, I’m going to be using these rules to guide myself. I know I’m going to find this quite a challenge. For someone who reads blogs, browses shops and covets things from magazines, it is going to be tough to not just wander down to the high street and buy. But I hope it will bring about good things- that I’ll be more appreciative of the clothes I do own, that I’ll get back into altering and making my clothes and I might actually end up with that dream wardrobe of mine where everything goes and is good quality and fits me well.
If you’re interested, I think I’m going to do more posts about this- shops I like, the shops I don’t, any problems or ideas I have… If you’ve got any favourite ethical shops, let me know. I still need lots of internet window shopping time! And if you’re interested in giving it a go, let me know on twitter with the #ethicalfashionpledge hashtag. We can support each other!