I'm going to deviate a little bit from my normal home decorating blog posts, and talk a little bit about a new commitment of mine.
When I was on holidays, I started thinking long and hard about upgrading my wardrobe. As someone with a tendency towards buying cheap but cute fashion, I had a wardrobe full of stuff that, although cheap, was also poorly made and typically didn't last long. I decided that I'd like to invest in some pieces that would wear better and therefore last longer.
At the same time, I started thinking a little bit more about where my clothes actually came from, and whether I could buy more ethically. Aside from owning quite a few staple pieces from American Apparel (who are excellent for basics like shirts, simple dresses and skirts), most of my clothing had been bought from cheap, presumably unethical companies. So, I started to do some research and, in the process, I was pointed in the direction of Isis in Tasmania and her Ethical Clothing Pledge. In a nutshell, the Ethical Clothing Pledge states that you will only purchase clothing that complies with one or more of the following:
4. Made with ethical / environmentally friendly materials
5. Made by a company with strong ethical policy & workers' rights
This is how I've decided to try and purchase my clothing from now on, so I'm officially (and publically) taking the Ethical Clothing Pledge.
Already, I've made some significant progress. I've managed to buy some excellent pre-loved pants from eBay (worn only a couple of times by the previous owner), and bought some more staple items from American Apparel. I've found a local designer, Irene from Wind and Water, who makes her own amazing tops, dresses and pants - I've already bought one item, and hope to buy many more! And I even managed to buy a new jacket (something I thought would be impossible!) from an ethical organic company called Salts, who sell their wares on Etsy. I'm yet to tackle items such as underwear, but thankfully Isis has a list on her website, so I shouldn't have too much trouble.
I've even researched some of the bigger brands, and found that places like Cue and Bardot are certified by Ethical Clothing Australia (which is fantastic given that I've recently bought items from both of these companies). I've also found that Just Group, responsible for brands like Just Jeans, Peter Alexander (my favourite pyjamas) and Portmans, have committed themselves to trying to remain vigilant with regards to the ethical supply of their garments.
I know that, on occasion, I might well fall off the wagon with my commitment and buy something that isn't certified as being ethical. In these cases, my aim is to buy the item that is of sufficient quality so as to avoid having to replace in the near future. I figure that buying a $200 pair of pants in a reputable brand that will last five years is far better than buying a $30 pair of pants from a cheap retailer that will likely fall apart in under six months.
So there you have it, readers. A new challenge for myself, which I hope will be a rewarding one. If any of you are interested in taking the Ethical Clothing Pledge with me, please do leave a comment!