Have you ever tried to return an item of clothing to a high street store when a button falls off or the seam comes away before you have even really worn it? Well I have and the looks I have been given from sales assistants are ones of disbelief. They look at me as if to say that’s your fault. It’s not that it’s made from cheap material and sadly made by a person who is being paid pennies an hour to survive. No it’s my fault!
To be honest, this kind of attitude makes me so frustrated. Firstly because the companies we buy our clothes from are not training their staff in customer service. But secondly and most importantly to me they are selling us cheap goods at a price most of us can afford. Therefore when they fall apart they know we will eventually have to go out and buy more. To be honest, I really don’t have the time to do continued shopping.
As a stay at home mum of one I want to spend quality time with my child. I really don’t want to be in shopping centres with him, I want to be outdoors enjoying green open spaces, living, breathing and enjoying life. Don’t get me wrong when I was young, free and single I used to love going shopping on a Saturday. I love fashion and I like to look my best, most of the time. Nowadays I have to be realistic with my approach to clothes. They have to be functional and practical with a small boy around.
Gone are the clubbing clothes and in now are the flat shoes, t-shirts and jeans. I now crave comfort over trends any day. Although I still like to dress with style what I really want is for my clothes to last a long time as well. In recent months I have been shopping to several high street stores and brought a few items from them. I have worn and washed these items. After a couple of washes the clothes have gone into holes.
At first I thought it might be the washing machine. Then I realised after watching several vlogs on different YouTube channels that it’s the material being using to produce the clothes. Even if you buy more expensive clothing or even designer labels these companies still use sweat shops. It seems to be the fashion, no pun intended. All I know is it’s driving me mad and the fact that our high street stores are using sweat shops makes the whole situation even worse. Like fast food, fast fashion is having terrible consequences on ourselves, the environment and the world around us.
Recently I have been researching ethical clothing companies and I have purchased items of clothing which look and feel great. Plus I have washed these clothes and so far no holes, touch wood. I have been looking at companies that do not create harm to the enviroment, pay their staff a fair wage, do not use child labour and don’t produce products that are harmful or dangerous. The clothes I have brought have been from companies that have their stories on their sites which clearly states they are an ethical brand.
The first company I found was Rapanui and they are a British company based on the Isle of Wright. Rapanui are building a business based on sustainability, tech and vocational training. These are not just buzzwords they are the values the business is based on. They make products from sustainable material in an ethically accredited wind powered factory and use technology and design show to that ecology and economics can work together. That makes them very different to businesses trying to do a bit of substainability. Rapanui are not planning to change business, instead they are aiming to replace it and make their business model the new normal. Click here for more information.
The next company I found and brought clothes from was Braintree Clothing and they are a unque independent fashion outfit born in Sydney and is now based in London. Braintree is has a simply pholisophy to design and make beautiful fashion that cares for the enviroment in the process. They use substainable fibres such as bamboo, hemp and organic cotton which are good to wear and good for the enviroment at the same time. Click here for more information.
The final company I found was People Tree and they are recognised by customers and the fashion industry as a pioneer in ethical and environmentally sustainable fashion. For over 25 years People Tree has partnered with Fair Trade producers, garment workers, artisans and farmers in the developing world to produce ethical and eco fashion collections. Fair Trade is about creating a new way of doing business. People Tree are creating access to markets and opportunities for people in the developing world. Click here for more information.
So from now on I have set my intention to shop from ethical clothing stores. I’m going to make an effort to buy clothes that are not harmful to any people nor the environment. The clothes I have in my wardrobe already I intend to wear until they are wore. Then and only then will I shop for more clothes. I want to wear clothes that have been made by people who have been treated fairly and the environment has not suffered as a result of large profits. For me it’s time to kiss goodbye to Fast Fashion and say hello to hopefully long lasting wearable clothes.