Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Fashion with a Conscience

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about socially and environmentally conscious fashion. Is it just me or the morality of 'fast fashion' sinks deeper and deeper these days? As a girl from a less developed country, which becomes the victim of the evil fashion industry, I want to make the right choices about this. Though I cannot be held responsible for what retail chains do, I wouldn't want to 'support' their actions by buying their products. In fact, a number of major fashion brands have been tested to have toxics in their clothing items. While some of them have committed to being toxic-free, there are brands which are still stubborn and stick to their wrong doings, such as GAP. The saddest thing is, this directly affects my homeland and its natural beauty. I have never been a pretty patriotic person but this is just horrible. AND as if they have no shame, after polluting our rivers, they sell their products in our land! Yes, thanks for ruining our nature.

I've been following Elizabeth's blog for a while and I admire her will to change her ways in doing things, particularly in buying clothes and produce. I can't do much with produce since I'm living on a real tight budget but I can still be conscious about the clothes I wear. One of my favourite options to shop for clothes is thrifting. The best part about thrifting in the modern age is that it's not limited to on location/in store thrifting anymore. There are online options as well. The obvious one being Ebay. There are also regional options. As for Germany, there is Kleider Kreisel, which is like a huge circle of people selling items they're not wearing anymore to anyone who wants/needs them. Aside from that, there is also the option of swapping with people. I just found out there are other variations of this kind for other european countries as well, like Slovakia.

Sometimes items in websites like these don't match my style and all and I find myself getting frustrated more often than happy to find new items. If that's the case, sometimes I just go from blog to blog that I follow and see if they have a shop-my-closet shop. Some of my favourite bloggers' shops are that from Elizabeth, Tieka (actually bought something already here) and Bonnie. I have also purchased items from Lauren and Breanne. The best part about purchasing an item from a blogger is that you have seen the way(s) the blogger has styled the item. It can be an inspiration for when you're quite stumped on how to wear your newly purchased item. I myself have a shop-my-closet shop and you guys can check it out here (for German readers) or here (for International readers). If an item interests you, just contact me and we can discuss the payment, shipping, etc.

Aside from that, I also loooove leafing through Etsy. Personally, I love Etsy all the way, not just the clothes but also the crafts and accessories. For vintage goodness, though, you just can't go wrong with Etsy. Okay, the independent-label items are a little pricey - or, if you're a student like me, VERY pricey - but the vintage items are usually totally affordable. Though, actually, I would still love to support these independent artists/designers in pursuing their dreams. Some of my favourite shops are Flapper Girl - who just has the best selection of lady neckties -, Teja Jamilla - with the most unique and adorable tights - and Flattery. I also love the vintage-filled shops, such as Sally Jane Vintage and Newman Hall. There is no other way to find these stores than to just leaf through everything. I usually just start by searching for something random and finding gems in the process.

Of course, the traditional option is still open. When you feel like the shipping is too much and you'd rather be able to try the clothes out first and have it in your hand after the purchase, there's always the option of going to your local thrift stores. Personally, I like that option much better, granted I had plenty of time. But when I'm all cooped up in my room, online shopping is just...addictive. Anyway, here are some tips Elizabeth and Elsie had to share on thrifting. Aside from thrift stores, you can also go to your local flea markets - which I actually recommend. I don't know anywhere else but, out here, items in flea markets tend to cost even less than thrift stores. Although, flea markets normally don't happen everyday. Every week at the very least. But even then, there's no guarantee.

I hope you will start shopping with a cause in mind. It doesn't happen at the snap of a finger, of course, but you will gradually get there. I'm trying to now, too. So far, I've been doing quite well. Also, it might help if you sign up for this manifesto. Be the change you want to see in the world, right? Start with yourself and, surely, the world will follow.

1 comment:

  1. Thank YOU for writing this post (and letting me know about it :) ). I've not been able to find a lot of stuff to read about this issue. And I also have no idea how to find out if companies produce their clothing ethically or not :\ (unless they're really explicit about it, like american apparel, which kind of makes me think that every single other company that isn't so explicit about it gets their clothes from sweatshops). Anyway, I think if I'd come across a post like this sooner, I would have been able to make the decision to make more ethical clothing choices sooner, as well. So good on you for writing about it! :)

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