Monday, 13 February 2017

let's have a chat about ethical fashion

Ethical fashion is as google defines it an 'umbrella term to describe ethical fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing. It covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare.' The workers are paid a fair wage, the environment the clothes are made in is a good standard and the materials that the garments are made from have a positive environmental impact in mind. 

After two years blogging on eleanorclaudie.com I finally know the direction my blog is heading in. A fashion blog that incorporates beauty and lifestyle but one that's ethical and informative. My mission is to help you learn about ethical fashion and fast fashion and ethical fashion is both critical to the workers life but also for sustainable development of the planet. I love blogging don't get me wrong, but I have a platform and I want to use it for good. Upon realising this a few months ago I've never sat down and written a post purely talking about ethical fashion and what it is. 
I was sat in my textiles class a few years ago, learning about the ethical trading initiative and I came to the recollection that I knew nothing about the difference between ethical and 'fast fashion'. I was learning about how badly our clothes effect the environment and the people behind our clothes but what was I doing about it? Absolutely nothing. After that fateful day I did quite a bit of research on 'fast fashion' (if you want to look into the industry I would really recommend watching The True Cost as a starting point) and I was shocked. The working conditions, pay, where the fabrics are sourced from, the distribution of the clothes. Even in the 21st Century workers are faced with dismal conditions and this is all for a t-shirt that will become obsolescent in a season. 

Following a recent documentary on Channel 4, it also made me realise how much of an issue fast fashion is not just around the world but in my own country as well. I used to look at labels saying 'made in the UK' and be surprised that it was made here but now I look at them and wonder who actually made the clothes. It is still such a prevalent issue that factory workers are paid less than the minimum age, working hours and conditions they work in. 
But how can I start buying ethically? 2017 started off and I didn't buy any new clothes for a month, even this month I've only bought one item of clothing and that was a jacket for Depop. The simplest way to reduce your reliance on fast fashion and sweatshop produced clothes is to stop buying them. A capsule wardrobe is a great idea but remember that buying less is better but it doesn't make it sustainable. So if you buy less buy better.

 You may wonder why I still wear clothes from fast fashion retailers such as Zara (much like the spotty culottes featured in this post) but I don't have the intention of throwing out all my clothes and starting from scratch because that would be unethical in itself, and charity shops have their pitfalls as well. According to WRAP's report, the average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes – but around 30% of clothing in the average wardrobe has not been worn for at least a year.

I am so aware that people may be reading this post don't have the money to be spending £25+ but part of the reason that ethically made clothes are more expensive is to encourage people to invest in items of clothing that they will treasure and that will last for a long time, unlike the mass produced (but ultimately affordable) clothes currently available to the modern consumer. That totally doesn't mean you don't have to buy new clothes though. Charity shops and depop are a great alternative but if you wanted something new there are so many ethical brands out there. Ethical fashion has definitely been having a resurgence lately but it needs to be the norm and I'm looking forward to discussing further the issues about fast fashion but also how positive and accessible buying ethically is. But I would love your input too! I want you to be interested in buying ethically in the same way you would Topshop or Zara and so what would you like to see on my blog?

What ethical fashion posts would you like to see on my blog?

More #anewageinspiration posts
Tips to ditch fast fashion
My favourite ethical brands
How to thrift shop
OOTDs with ethical clothing pieces
Curating your personal style (clothes that aren't trend led etc.)


Are there any posts you'd like to see me write about ethical fashion that aren't on the list? Or just specific fashion posts? Let me know! 

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17 comments

  1. I try so hard to choose ethical fashion, but being a student it sometimes falls at the way side. But I think I am getting better, I shop in charity shops more and on ethical websites and things, I just think when you shop ethically you also choose much more unique clothes than what people are wearing from Primark and what not, it's my aim to think about ethical fashion when buying an outfit now and I think I'm doing much better, thanks for the low down and the advice. I'd love to know what labels are your favourite!

    Marbl☾☽Moon

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  2. It makes me so happy to see that ethical fashion is slowly creeping it's way into the mainstream. I defo used to brush it aside, but it is so so important. I know a lot of my friends think I'm super weird for it but it's something we all need to talk about more. Cant wait to see more posts about it x
    www.lexiealexandra.com

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    1. Yeah a lot of my friends think it's weird that I talk about it like it's a normal thing but it should be! xx

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  3. I hadn't really thought about ethical fashion before, like we cover the bad working conditions and low wages in geography for development and globalisation, but I tend to not think about it when actually out shopping since I'm focused on getting what I need at the best offer. I think I'll have to change that this year. Great post xx

    Sophie's Spot

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  4. The blogging sphere definitely needs more post like this - especially in a community where there's pressure to keep up with trends and show off endless new buys. Ethical fashion is something I always think about but never follow up on, and its something so important, so thank you for opening my eyes, I love your buy less, but buy better quality mantra!

    Imogen
    www.imocdj.blogspot.co.uk

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  5. I actually don't hear too many people spreading the message about ethical fashion and it's an area that I'll admit I'm fairly uneducated in, so reading informative posts like this I find really helpful (and interesting!)

    Julia // The Sunday Mode

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  6. This has never actually crossed my mind before so thank you for this post. It's nice to learn something new, there definitely needs to be more posts like this in the blogging community.

    Terri x
    www.territalks.co.uk

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  7. It's good to see that more ethical fashion is becoming available it's just a shame that the prices are so high. With three children funds left for my partner and I are limited.

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  8. I completely agree with you! Fast fashion is just awful considering the dubious practices behind it in the UK or where the clothes are made. And also the fact that we keep on spending on bad quality pieces instead of durable ones! I'd like to be able to afford better pieces but we'll have to wait a bit longer! Except you know affordable ethical brands of course! xx C&K

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  9. This post was dope. I'm glad to see women blogging bout this issue. It's relevant and important ❤️

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  10. It's so good to know that ethical fashion is starting to become a little bit more of a talked about thing! I completley agree with you, fast fashion is tempting people to ignore what happens before they get their hands on it and its awful. Glad you written this post x
    Claire |clairesyear.com

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  11. Thank you for posting this! It's definitely something I need to make myself more aware of! X

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  12. I'm so happy other people are noticing this as an important topic as well! It's something tat most people know about but simply don't spend enough time thinking about - myself included! Spread the word!
    xx Solange | creativepineapples.blogspot.com

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  13. I´m actually really interested in ethical fashion! I´ve been becoming more and more aware of everything wrong with basically any industry we rely on & with making the swap to cruelty free makeup I can feel the change in clothes coming soon too. So I´m super excited for all the posts so I can be prepared!
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

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    1. I'm so glad to hear that! I have so many posts planned!

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  14. This is such an informative post, it's made me want to research ethical fashion more and see how I can make changes in my wardrobe.
    Lauren x
    www.cupcakesandcandyfloss.com

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  15. I am all for ethical clothing, we could use most waste to produce a garments really the government just need to catch on and encourage people to use more recycled and ethical materials

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