I am going to be honest here; I was a fast fashion addict. Actually scrap that I am a fast fashion addict, but one that’s currently in the throes of going cold turkey. After a series of incidents which left me feeling like the universe was shaking its fist at me, I came to realise that change was afoot.
I’ve read about ethical/eco fashion in magazines for a while, the latest token offering. And if I’m being brutally honest I often felt disdain for the clothing, they weren’t cool or edgy. It felt all sweetness and light, which is totally not my style. But then I met a guy who runs his own independent boutique. The interview with him quite literally changed my life. He talked about how the success (or in many cases failure) of independent designers (something I bang on a lot about) was interwoven with the rise of fast fashion and retail multinationals. How their low prices, government connections and manipulation of town planning was in essence squeezing out the independents, stopping originality and creating a style community of clones.
Then I picked up Lucy Sielge’s book To Die For – Is Fashion Wearing Out The World?. I’m not sure the question mark is required because this should be more of a statement. Ecological, ethical and moral lines are being crossed in order to provide us with access to clothing at cheaper and cheaper prices. I’m only three quarters of the way through, and I’ll admit it’s hard going but man is it a slap of realisation.
I’m not preaching or getting on my proverbial high horse, this is a choice I have made all by myself. But for the next 365 days I will not shop at any of the high street retailers. In fact I will only be purchasing from vintage, charity or independent retailers who can show a transparent journey for their garments.
My hope is to rediscover my creativity and originality whilst finding designers and retailers who are unique and fashionable whilst supporting the planet.
And then bring them to the attention of you beautiful people. Sound like a plan?
Image courtesy of ethicalcommunity.com