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How do you feel about where your...

(17 Posts)
puglife15 Mon 25-Jul-16 20:34:44

Clothes are made?

Tbh I know about child/slave labour and know that some of the worst offenders are our cheap shops but I still buy from places like supermarkets and H&M from time to time although I buy much less than i used to and am a real charity shop lover.

Just read this shocker though and feeling guilty that I'm part of this chain. Curious if others actively try to buy clothes with high ethical standards and how easy/hard it is to do and still look stylish?

DeadGood Mon 25-Jul-16 22:57:40

I think about it a lot. I try to buy as much as I can second hand. I think it's the best way to avoid this kind of thing happening. I treat it like disposable fashion - have a great charity shop close by, I pick up whatever takes my fancy and even if I only wear it a few times and get bored, it just gets sent back and the cycle continues.

People become desensitised to it but there really are people out there suffering for these cheap clothes.

puglife15 Wed 27-Jul-16 07:53:15

Yeah I'm the same DeadGood but there have been quite a few items I just can't get in any charity shops, like strappy vests, white T shirts, underwear, comfy shoes, jeans etc

I recently bought a top in the People Tree sale, seems like great quality but I'm not sure how ethical it really is. I need to look into it.

I did think about making my own clothes but as that link shows, even the textile production is unethical.

bearofnothingness Wed 27-Jul-16 07:55:01

buy most basics from american apparel, cheap if you buy in the sale and you can trace where it's made. H and M have it's conscious clothing line don't they>?

puglife15 Wed 27-Jul-16 08:37:37

Yeah I have bought a few bits from the Conscious range, I thought it was just recycled fabrics but on reading up it sounds like they actually are quite good with their supply chain too, paying living wage etc... I'm impressed, but a bit sceptical - how is it so cheap if they produce stuff ethically (for a retailer their size)?

I'd forgotten about AA. thought they were going under?

Itscurtainsforyou Wed 27-Jul-16 10:23:12

I think People Tree are quite good, I've bought their stuff for years.

I also buy from Braintree clothing, but I'm not sure if they're as ethical.

Agree about buying from charity shops too.

incywincybitofa Wed 27-Jul-16 10:43:13

If you are going to be ethical about what you buy and where you also have to consider where your cotton/fabric orginates from before it even gets to the textile mills.
The chemicals used as pesticides for cotton cause cancer of the brain and lungs in many of the farmers in the world including the USA where cases are often better documented
Cotton is also a thirsty crop and the irrigation used to water it combined with the pesticides used to "protect" it have a massive impact on the environment
The seasons and trends of shopping are also having an impact and one of the biggest first steps people can make is just to buy less clothing. This can either be achieved by sourcing organic cottons and Jersey, using alternative textiles like bamboo, there are suppliers on line if you want to make your own. Or simply buying less clothes and ensuring that you source as ethically as you can, fair trade organic cotton certified mills etc, write to you favourite brands and ask what they do to ethically support the clothing industry and then make your choices based on their responses.

I suppose the question is what do you mean by stylish, is it quality items? Or fashion items?
Many fashion designers are opting for sustainable fashion, fashion that is committed to the environment and social responsibility and part of this is about not designing to trends, but designing classical pieces that can be worn over and over through different seasons
All of this of course affects affordability, but pay more buy less also helps the chain though as does buying second hand and passing on or receiving unwanted clothing.

puglife15 Wed 27-Jul-16 11:44:57

I wouldn't say I dress fashionably, but I would say some things that are my style I'd struggle to get in a charity shop.

Interesting point about fabrics though, I always try to buy cotton/linen/wool over man-made but hadn't looked into the processing of it in detail. I knew organic cotton was "better" but didn't realise about water consumption.

I'm trying really hard to cut down on purchases but feel I'm still limiting myself on price and losing quality as a result - false economy. I just threw out a top I bought in 2008 which I wore maybe 40-50 times a year, I need more pieces like that.

DeadGood Wed 03-Aug-16 22:06:15

Yes you wouldn't be able to but an entire wardrobe from a charity shop. And you have to be opportunistic - if I like something I see, I buy it, even if it's the wrong season to wear it. You can't go into a shop looking for particular things either.
People Tree are brilliant - take a look at who they work with

puglife15 Wed 03-Aug-16 23:06:11

I've just bought a fantastic top from People Tree which I love - great quality and a good price in the sale - but the rest of their stuff has left me cold. Not helped by the fact I'm BFing so loads of their dresses wouldn't work.

Floisme Thu 04-Aug-16 07:46:16

Every new year I resolve to buy more ethically but I'm ashamed to admit, it never lasts.

I do find it difficult and the information is so complex. I always check out People Tree but I'm not that keen on their stuff and it doesn't seem to fit me very well. Charity shops have been dire round our way for years although I do use a couple of good second hand/dress agency shops.

I've read that H&M aren't so bad in the grand scheme of things and that high end stores don't necessarily have better ethics, just better lawyers so you never get to hear about them.

I've not shopped at Zara, Massimo Dutti or Mango since I read that they really dragged their feet over paying compensation after Rana Plaza. (Whatever we say about Primark, at least they seem to have paid up straight away.)

I know all this needs links and I can't look at the moment but I will do later.

puppydogmummy Thu 04-Aug-16 08:05:06

It's all a bit confusing seems to me you can't be sure it's ethical unless you buy from somewhere like people tree . I haven't shopped in Primark since Rand Plaza disaster it really struck a cord with me but then I read H & m aren't much better? Love charity shops but as a size 20 there's not a lot of choice. If someone could find a realistic practical guidelines it would be great. I'm a vegan and don't wear leather so I'm already quite fussy!

Itscurtainsforyou Thu 04-Aug-16 09:57:47

There are a few "sustainable fashion" companies using hemp, ethically sourced cotton etc. I like Braintree, Komodo, nomads etc.

I will buy there (if I can find anything I like in the right style, colour/fit etc) rather than high street, but sometimes just can't find anything suitable.

Floisme Thu 04-Aug-16 19:12:15

Labour Behind the Label are worth a look:

This is listed from their FAQs and explains why it's so hard to find straightforward guidance:
Labour Behind the Label is unable to provide a list of ‘best’ or ‘worst’ brands or retailers simply because the causes of and solutions to poor conditions in the garment industry are not that simple. ....The root causes of bad working conditions are as much, if not more, to do with the way the fashion industry operates than the intentions and desires of any individual company.... violations of internationally-recognised minimum labour standards can be found in almost every factory, workshop and living room in which garments are produced.

So it's the whole industry that seems to be rotten not just the obviously dirt cheap retailers. Pretty depressing if, like me, you love clothes.

Floisme Thu 04-Aug-16 19:41:38

Hmm I may have spoken up for H&M a little too soon. I had thought they were one of the better (or less bad) companies, despite being cheap, because they'd been one of the first to sign the Accord after Rana Plaza.

cressetmama Thu 04-Aug-16 20:38:27

I don't want to support the exploiters, but my solution is to buy a little less, less often than I did, but spend rather more. I can't say that I have looked into the subject deeply. but I get a warm buzz if what I buy is made in Europe, rather than China or Bangladesh.

Floisme Fri 05-Aug-16 10:25:50

Right on cue, People Tree sent me an email about their new stuff. I normally like their ethics but not their clothes but this time I was pleasantly surprised, although I hope they're going to offer a bit more colour than navy and black.

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