Why am I doing this? Great question

A very good friend of mine asked me recently ‘Why are you doing this?’ It’s a great question. I’ll explain – here’s part of what sparked this whole thing off.

Once upon a time, I was addicted to asos.com

Yes, I admit it – I was in lust with this site. I used to marvel at how cheap it all was. It was a definite bonus that they shipped free to NZ.  I was able to shop my favourite UK brands that I had loved while living in London.

So my first (and last) ASOS shipment was for a River Island pair of boots, ASOS brand brogues, and 2 jackets. These boots that were latest season were only 35 pounds which in NZD is roughly $70. Which is CHEAP for shoes here.

However, both jackets were not what I was expecting and the boots were uncomfortable. So while it all looked like a bargain, in reality I will probably end up taking it to Recycle Boutique or another second hand shop to sell on. Less than 6 months after buying them.

The more I looked at ASOS and the cheap deals of instant ‘fast-fashion’ the more I got thinking about the real price we pay.

World map of supply chain for River Island boots

Supply chain for River Island boots

Do you know the conditions in which your clothes/shoes are made?

That piece of clothing or pair of shoes that was made halfway around the world was most likely made by someone not getting a fair deal. Labour behind the label did a rating for UK brands and rated River Island (where my boots came from).  I don’t want to unfairly just pick on them though – there were brands rating worse than them. Find out how the other brands rated including Topshop, H&M and GAP.

We now own more clothes than ever before but spend less money on each item. We throw out clothes as soon as they are out of fashion or we are bored of them. In doing my fair fashion year I’ll be seeking out brands that have timeless style. The theuniformproject.com was a great inspiration. It shows how you can create timeless style from a little black dress and a ton of amazing accessories. I’ve been trying to get my hands on her classic LBD for a year!

So how can you start to shop ethically?

You can choose how you spend your money. When we part with our cash we are saying ‘I support this company/product’. Ask the person in the shop *nicely* where their products are made. It’s OK to want to know about the stuff that you’re about to spend your hard earned cash on.

Consumers can change the game. You only have to look at the uproar when Cadbury announced they would use palm oil to see how corporations bow to consumer pressure. Within weeks they had decided to stop using palm oil and hoped the public would forgive them.


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