I have loved fashion and everything it inhabits for many years. An avid Vogue and Pinterest skimmer, I dream of one day sitting on the sidelines of fashion week in Paris or New York. Reality hits when I look in my bank account and find that my balance doesn’t exactly resemble the amount for the next Gucci bag or Louboutin shoes, so I begin looking for cheap alternatives.
We’ve all found ourselves in the awkward and challenging situation of realising that some of our favourite brands aren’t quite as ethical as we thought.
Brass Tacks charged much more than the average in Chennai, but this wasn’t because they wanted to be the biggest selling market in India. Instead, they wanted to pay their seamstresses well and provide a safe space to work. I learned quickly that unfortunately, this is not the story for other facilities in Chennai and across India.
I was inspired by Brass Tacks; they sold beautiful clothing and ensured beautiful results for those who made them. In turn, I realised my speed to get the next best thing at the cheapest price was having a cost that I didn’t have to face, and I made the decision to turn towards slow, sustainable fashion.
The change wasn’t immediate. At the time I began this journey, I was living on a very low wage, so if I ever needed new clothes, I wasn’t able to afford anything above dirt cheap. However, along the way I learned of 4 simple, yet effective methods to combat this cycle.
This application rates a company on how it affects human lives, animal lives, and the environment, and provides a score of “Great”, “Good”, “It’s a Start”, or “Not Good Enough”. One of the best things about Good On You is that if you discover one of your favourite brands is unfortunately “Not Good Enough”, you will be shown suggestions of similar brands, at similar prices, with a higher ethical awareness.
Hand Me Downs
Small and/or Ethical Businesses
While there is not always a guarantee that smaller businesses are more ethical, their smaller teams generally produce a more ethical environment. Some of my personal favourite small and ethical businesses include:
- For Mums: Milk Childrenswear
- For Jewellery: Asandé
- For Streetwear: Church Of Antioch
- For Loungewear: Sunshine Living
- For EVERYTHING: Visage Collective
The transition to sustainable fashion is exactly that. Slow. In no way should your first response to learning about injustice in the fashion world be burning all the clothes that you think could have been unethically sourced.
Maybe though, taking some little steps to reducing your consumerism of fast fashion could have you wearing your clothes with pride. Not only because you look smokin’, but because you know that those threads were woven by someone who is going to bed healthy and happy. And you get to share in that with them.