Now don't think I am going all hippy dippy on you, I am not going to start suggesting we all dress in totally organic clothing, but recently I have begun to contemplate where my clothes come from and how they are made, how many clothes I buy, and where they end up? I also wonder how important any of this is to you?
- We are buying 60% more clothing but keeping those items half as long as we used to.
- The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to oil!
- Did you know that last year Australians sent $500 million worth of clothing and textiles to landfill.
Caught up in this fast fashion chain are people, mostly women and sometimes children, in developing countries working long hours in oppressive conditions to make the clothing we wear. They get paid wages so low that they and their families are trapped in a cycle of poverty.
So here is my dilemma, I love fashion, and I want to keep bringing you all the beautiful fashion out there, but I am concerned about my fashion choices, and I wonder what I can be doing to help alleviate this cycle.
Over the last month I have researched Australian, New Zealand and International brands and their impact on people and the planet. I have to admit to being relieved that some of my favourite brands do have a fashion conscience and have been making changes to their fashion footprint.
I have also checked out local websites, brands or shops that stock ethical fashion. (Check out my Look of the Week for an ethical collection put together by a girlfriend.)
I still love beautiful, colourful clothes, gorgeous jewellery and the thrill of something new, but I also find that I want my clothes to last, I want to feel comfortable and I want to know that the stores I choose to buy from are beginning to think about their supplier chain, their materials, and their ethical fashion footprint.
If you also feel the same way or would like to get a better understanding of what ethical fashion means, there is a wealth of information out there.
- The Film, The True Cost explores the idea of what's behind fast fashion, the sweat-shop factories, the working conditions, and is a must watch. I warn you, it will open your eyes! It is available on Netflix
- The Baptist World Aid 2017 Ethical Fashion Guide has researched brands in Australia, New Zealand and overseas and graded them on their ethical practices, e.g. working conditions, child labour, raw materials, manufacturing etc. You can download the guide from their website.
- Good on You App - an app that will tell you how your favourite store performs in terms of its impact on people, the planet and animals. They also have great articles and stories on ethical brands and how poorly or well big brands are performing.
- Well Made Clothes NZ is a great New Zealand website to shop from which features designers/brands that are graded on various ethical values.
I would like to start to making better fashion choices, and I hope to show you ways to shop ethically, and choose pieces that will last the seasons and equip yourself with a simple, but fun wardrobe that can work for all occasions. I hope you will join me next year on this new fashion journey?
Please feel free to comment below and let me know how important this topic is for you?