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The guilt of high street clothes shopping (re: sweat shops)

(15 Posts)
Trashbox Sat 13-Aug-16 19:52:17

I love fashion and clothes, always have.

As a student, I became more aware of the realities of cheap clothing (ie sweat shops), so started shopping mainly in charity shops and making my own clothes.

Now I'm getting a bit older and don't have the time for charity shops. I obviously have a bit more money too. I see things on the high street that I really want, but feel too much guilt about buying them...

Does anyone else feel this way? sad

SonicSpotlight Sat 13-Aug-16 19:56:59 Any use?

ginorwine Sat 13-Aug-16 20:12:41

Look at Sea salt
They work to ethical guidelines and social responsibility .

specialsubject Sun 14-Aug-16 12:12:18

Designer brands do the same. There's a very famous designer who is a professional tax avoider - not a crime but she should belt up about ethics and morals.

Disposable clothing is unethical full stop. Buy what you need and wear until worn out. And buy the minimum new.

Floisme Sun 14-Aug-16 12:54:04

I haven't any answers but I love clothes and fashion so I struggle with this too. From what I've read, the whole industry stinks and that includes the high end.

I always check out People Tree but a lot of it isn't really my style. My main solution is to try and buy second hand where I can. The local charity shops have been crap for years but are suddenly having a renaissance. We also have a good dress agency and I occasionally buy vintage.

But I'm sure you've already thought of all that and as you say, it takes time as you have to call in little and often.

burnishedsilver Sun 14-Aug-16 13:37:40

Out of curiousity, when you make your own clothes do you have same problem sourcing fabrics that aren't made in sweat shop conditions?

GahBuggerit Sun 14-Aug-16 13:45:38

problem i find is charity shops pricing is way off, often not being much cheaper than it was new. i buy high street all the time but wash carefully and wear until its a rag, and then use it as one to get the most out of it. ive got a Primarni t shirt thats 3 years old and still looks great, somehow.....

ginorwine Sun 14-Aug-16 15:14:13

Special subject
I'd love to follow your advice .
Do you buy less but good quality ? Does that work ? I guess if not things Wd not last long and need replacing anyway ? How does this principle apply in the workplace ?
I did see a web site called something like buy once - it was about clothes or items such as kitchen stuff that Wd last a lifetime or for many years .

specialsubject Sun 14-Aug-16 15:24:57

it's quite easy for me because I hate shopping and always have.

I now work from home but when I was in the real world, office clothes came from high street stores - due to finding shopping such a bore I'd stock up with white shirts, black trousers and the wearable smart shoes you could get then. A lot of it lasted a long time, I have been gradually getting rid of what is left as the waistbands seem to have mysteriously shrunk...

now I keep a couple of smart outfits and that's it. As it is so hard to get clothes I like, I wear stuff to death. Currently in a 10 year old shirt and 8 year old trousers, that said I am off to do some gardening! If it is an evening out, I've got a few tidy tops and a couple of pairs of trousers. That's really all that is needed. I wore the same outfit to several weddings, there were some other people at more than one but no-one commented, it wasn't me they came to see.

if at all possible I buy men's stuff (trousers, t-shirts, walking shoes etc) as it is better made, cheaper and lasts longer.

drspouse Sun 14-Aug-16 15:35:58

Burnished though fabric can be made in factories that under-pay, I get a fair bit that's printed at least in Europe, plus with it being less fiddly work, I think I'm right that the workers are less likely to be small children or to be paid piece work.
There's still the potential for unsafe working practices with dyes etc.

OverAndAbove Sun 14-Aug-16 15:38:45

I've been thinking about this recently, and need to do some research. I do buy fairly minimally and keep most things until they fall apart, so nothing too disposable, but I've lost track of which brands are good for ethical trading etc.

Laura Ashley, Boden and M and S used to have very good reputations for this, but that was years ago and I imagine things have changed...

Trashbox Sun 14-Aug-16 21:52:04

Thanks for the responses. I'm glad it's not just me!

Yes, M&S do a few Fairtrable clothes, but they're usually ugly! This is where it becomes a dilemma! sad

RhinestoneCowgirl Sun 14-Aug-16 21:59:17

A friend works for this campaign organisation that might be helpful:

ZaraW Mon 15-Aug-16 07:23:41

Izzy Lane is really good though expensive. All products are made in the UK using wool from rescued sheep quality is amazing. I hate disposable fashion.

lastnightiwenttomanderley Mon 15-Aug-16 07:35:28

I avoid the 'fast fashion' fads and tend to buy quality things that will last me a long time. For me, Reiss, Zara and occasionally Oasis areally good. Yes, Reiss isn't the cheapest but I have dresses from there that have been in my wardrobe for years and still look good.

One other top tip thats slightky clothes related. Find a good cobbler (a proper one, not a high street shoe repairers). I tend to go for high end shoes as I have size 1.5 feet so making then last is even more important. I've got pairs that are nearly ten years old and still looking sharp as a result.

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