Half a year (and a month) after deciding that I was going to start buying ethical fashion and shun ‘fast fashion’ and I am loving it more than ever. In January of this year I didn’t think that I could stop buying fast fashion, especially being sixteen in a culture where fashion is as disposable as the cameras you buy – it lasts a few takes then has to be replaced. In the past few months my approach and attitude to fashion has changed completely and with it my wardrobe.
From the end of 2016 my blog was veering towards producing more ethical content but I knew that I wanted to make a total change to my buying habits, they had to in order for me to really understand and discuss with you about the topics of ethical fashion. Research was required and research is still continuing for me to keep you updated on things in the sphere that is ethical fashion.
This doesn’t mean I’m now the perfect ethical consumer, in fact I think I still have a long while to go – but with every new piece in my wardrobe I’m realising that the clothes I wear have a much greater impact on the people and the world around me than I would ever choose to think. Rewind to last year and my mentality was a lot different, clothes were for a few shots on Instagram, because I saw a blogger wear it and decided I needed it in my wardrobe
So why am I still not the perfect ethical consumer? After vouching that I wasn’t going to buy any fast fashion from that start of 2017 I have gone back on that, but only a few pieces. Two skirts from Urban Outfitters due to having a voucher from Christmas and my prom dress and shoes. I did buy a stunning plain black dress from Oxfam but after snacking constantly during exam season it definitely wasn’t the most flattering number and I settled on a Needle and Thread dress (that I will house in my wardrobe for as long as humanly possibly) but I am aware that it isn’t ethical. Again, the shoes were from M&S because I didn’t see the justification in buying a pair of nice ethical heels for an evening (although I am actually in love with my prom shoes and will wear them for a lot longer than just prom night). Alas the confessions of a not quite perfect ethical buyer.
Yet let’s not dwell on the negatives, yes I haven’t bought ethically throughout the whole year but the pieces I have bought will last me a long time so I guess the ‘sustainability’ of the garments is somewhat justified. Regardless of these purchases though my attitudes towards fast fashion has changed completely and the information that I’ve learnt is what has allowed me to write and inform you about buying ethically. It’s important that I practice what I preach but it would be wrong of me not to be honest and admit my mistakes regarding my fashion purchases.
My wardrobe is slowly becoming more ethical with every new purchase, whether it be from an ethical brand or second hand or a hand me down. Depop has funded most of my clothing purchases this year and it hasn’t, surprisingly, been that many.
Onto the predicament. Now as much as I talk about how my clothes and my accessories are becoming more ethical, there are a few things that I have yet to buy ethically and therefore have suppressed my desire to buy them at all, not all the items but some. I never imagined discussing underwear on my blog but here we are… discussing underwear. The socks, tights and underwear etc. that I currently own isn’t ethical, it’s nice but it definitely isn’t ethical. I’ve scoured online for bras that aren’t extortionate prices and came across Organic Basics. They look perfect and I shall definitely be purchasing from them. For those of you that may have bigger busts, I’ve yet to come across a brand that sells ethical underwear at decent prices but Pansy Co do sell some gorgeous pieces and they may be suitable for what you’re after.
Swimwear is also my downfall when it comes to buying ethically. There’s no way (I just couldn’t I’m sorry) buy second hand swimwear so that rules out a cheaper alternative and there are no places online that sell ethical swimwear for a price that wouldn’t take me a month to save for one bikini top. I love the pieces but I wear swimwear for less than a month a year and tend to only buy one new bikini or swimsuit per year. Why wouldn’t you treat yourself then? I hear you ask. But I would much rather spend on ethical clothes than ethical swimwear and if that means I don’t buy any new swimwear then that’ll be the case until I can happily splash out on a Solid and Striped, Nu Swim or Mara Hoffman bikini (I love them but my bank account, not so much).
I haven’t bought a new pair of shoes this year. Taking the prom shoes out of the equation I had been saving up for a pair of Veja trainers, realised that I really didn’t need a new pair of trainers and spent the money on Depop instead. Ethical shoes do become more expensive but I think it’s just going to be a matter of saving and wearing the shoes that I have until then. Fine by me because I think I have a small yet perfect selection of shoes and I’m not sure I need to go out and buy a new pair. Shoes are however something I am willing to pay more money for because I’ll wear them day in, day out – swimwear not so much.
Half a year on and my wardrobe is breathing a sigh of relief, it’s not quite a capsule wardrobe but I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t have to be if I care and look after and wear everything that I do own, an ethical fashion hub that I can call my own.
What am I wearing?
Managing to take these photos when the weather wasn’t so dull and dreary, summer managed to weave its way into my wardrobe in the form of this gingham gem. The trousers are hand me downs from my mum, she’s had them for over fourteen years and I do feel slightly honoured that she’s given them to me because they still suit her to a tee. They go with almost any summery top and naturally I’m pairing them with my Vans (an unethical shoe brand but these were from last year as a Christmas present).
Stashed in my clothes draw for much too long, the top is from ethical brand Everlane. Whilst I have heard amazing things about this brand, I have also been told that the ‘radical transparency’ they claim to have is yet another marketing ploy in order to disguise themselves as an ethical company. I’ve yet to do my research on the brand so if anyone could shed more light upon Everlane and their ethics it would be hugely appreciated. If however, Everlane is as ethical as it claims it is then I would for sure purchase more clothes from the site if they choose to ship to the UK again. Never had I bought an item from America before the purchase of this and the jumper but it definitely was worth it. This white number has been paired with anything and everything in my wardrobe (weather permitting) and I am so glad it’s out of my clothes draw – it’s home since I bought it back in April.
Pairing beautifully with the gingham trousers that have been eyed up on my Instagram, this is the perfect summer outfit and one of many outfits that I can happily say are totally ethical (here is to hoping Everlane is as ethical as it claims to be). Apart from the shoes that we can say are one of my many predicaments, my outfits are quickly becoming completely ethical and that makes me so incredibly happy. To buy ethically and to aid you to make more ethical decisions is something I pledged to myself that I would do at the start of the year and explained further in my post about why I wanted to become a more ethical consumer.
Here’s to furthering my ethical fashion journey and constantly (hopefully) influencing you to become better consumers, I want to know what your favourite ethical post of mine has been this year and is there anything you would like to see on my blog? All suggestions are welcome if there are any ethical posts or questions that you would like answering!
lots of love, eleanor xx