Dress is handmade from Japan, clips are handmade (DIY here), hat is stolen from my boyfriend, shoes are c/o Yeswalker, picnic bag and jacket are thrifted, socks are from Tutuanna.
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about the choices I make and the influence it has on the world. For a few months now, I have wanted to get hair extensions - however I have been adamant that the hair has to come from an ethical source (as in, not from people living below the poverty line whose last chance to feed their family was to sell all their hair for a couple of dollars; or being conned into donating their hair for religious purposes) and have basically found that "ethical" hair extensions are an impossible thing to come across. Looks like I'll be growing my hair the hard way. But after questioning whether or not hair extensions were ethical, I started questioning whether anything I rely on - particularly my clothes - is indeed ethical.
When I heard about a clothing factory in Bangladesh collapsing a few months ago, where more than 1000 workers died, I was really upset. That event set into motion (although I'm embarrassed at how long it's taken) a realisation that I really can't justify my need to own the ridiculous amount of clothes that I own. Half of my wardrobe I have only worn once or twice. But what finally forced me to think about this issue was learning about the term "fast fashion" from Ragini's Rookie mag post, and then coming across this article on making ethical fashion choices. And I decided that for now, I'm only shopping at second-hand stores. I've also stopped working with the majority of clothes stores that I've worked with on my blog this past year. I don't know that their clothes come from factories that are as bad as the one that collapsed in Bangladesh, but it's exactly because *I don't know* that I've decided to stop.
This wasn't the easiest decision to come to, as I kind of rely on being sent clothes by my sponsors to keep the outfit posts on this blog going - I can't afford to buy myself new clothes to blog about all the time because I am a uni student. On the other hand, I also don't want to keep getting new clothes, because I already have more than enough. So what I'll be doing more of is re-wearing everything that I already own, in different ways (for example I've styled this dress before here and here). And if I really *need* that cropped shirt or pinafore dress, I'll make them myself, thrift something, or save up and buy something handmade from etsy or splurge on American Apparel. I feel a little bad about promoting fast fashion for the last couple of years and want to try and remedy some of the damage, so in a similar vein to my "30 days of dressing up" posts, I will try to do more posts on how to create multiple outfits out of a more limited wardrobe, as well as more DIY posts and vintage-shopping guides.
Congratulations if you're still reading this! Let me make clear that I certainly don't judge you if you choose to keep buying new clothes from stores - I admit that I've had a pretty extreme reaction by almost entirely cutting myself off - but if I can convince a couple of people to slightly limit their clothing intake, I hope that it might make a little bit of (positive) difference to the world.
*Note: I will still continue to wear all my old stuff from those companies whose sponsorship I am no longer continuing, because that would be a total waste of clothes if I decided I wasn't going to wear them anymore. So if you see them around here, don't freak out that I've abandoned everything I just said.
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