Hello my lovelies,
Back for another round of dissecting my wardrobe in terms of its ethical/not-so-ethical origins. For context: June 18th 2017 was a gloriously sunny day in England, and I spent it with loved ones, cooking, sipping Bucks Fizz, and reading. The reason I look sweaty, is because I was sweaty. But the good kind of sweat, more acceptable because it’s warm AF.
T-shirt: TK Maxx. I had some gift vouchers for TK Maxx for Christmas and decided to buy myself some “gym gear”. I got some trainers, a sports bra (which I’m wearing here and later had to strip down to), and this t-shirt which I love. It’s so breathable and doesn’t show sweat patches with glaring obviousness. None of these items have seen a lot of gym action let’s be honest, but wearing sports materials in the Summer is PERFECT because they are designed to let you sweat comfortably! With regards to TK Maxx’s ethical standards, there are a few well-publicised points that work in its favour: 1) They are well-known to associate with the work of Comic Relief, and raise a fortune selling merchandise each year for Red Nose Day. 2) They offer a scheme called “Give Up Clothes For Good” for Cancer Research UK (Kids & Teens) in which they ask you to bring in a bag of unwanted clothes to sell in charity shops or to be recycled. Supporting a specific cause may encourage people to be more generous than their usual straight-to-charity-shop donations, and it does put a decent spin on recycling. 3) Since 2008 they’ve held up community projects in war-torn regions of Uganda, teaming up with Save the Children to build schools and provide educational resources, and working to promote fairly traded products such as coffee and crafts. Numerous other charity partnerships are also on the go, and TK Maxx also have a decent environmental policy – actively working to reduce their carbon footprint. With regards to fair trade specifically, they state: “Our buyers are always looking to source more organic and Fairtrade cotton clothing for our stores”. So there are evidently many baby steps towards a more ethical future for this store. Details below.
Skirt: Clements Ribeiro (via eBay). This was around £3 on auction, and I really love it. High-waisted skirts will always be winners in my books, and the material is so light and delicate. From my hasty Googling as I’ve never heard of this company before, they seem to be a London-based fashion house specialising in bold prints. The skirt itself states “Made in China”. They appear to have an upcycling campaign, which is good news, and focuses on the idea of a vintage “capsule” wardrobe – which in itself, encourages minimising your purchases of low-quality ‘impulse buys’. However, there is little information on the website regarding their garment workforce.
Sandals: New Look. Are they Greek-inspired? Roman? Saxon? Regardless they are extremely comfortable, and seem to go with everything I wear (I own two pairs of sandals at the present moment.) Surprisingly for a giant high street retailer, New Look genuinely seem to have put a lot of effort into caring for their workers at each point in the supply chain. “We put workers’ needs at the centre of our ethical sourcing strategy. Despite doing our best to protect workers in our value chain, we know that many people employed in the garment industry face poor working conditions that affect their safety, health and quality of living.” Their website also gives links to their ethical trade reports, and the ins-and-outs of how they are able to maintain these relationships with suppliers. What I really like about them is their focus on transparency – trust with a retailer is established through their openness and availability of information on their trade, which is so important. At heart this is still a movement of fast fashion which we should not be encouraging, however it is still possible to act as a buyer of key pieces which you intend to last a long time – this is what I am trying to do at the moment.
Sunglasses: Boots. I bought these for £5 a couple of summers ago, and I adore them. Boots themselves have a lot of information available on their website which I respect – traceability is again given a solid priority here – with a focus on environmental sustainability. As a consumer I also feel that it is easy to source products from Boots that do not test on animals, and offer organic ingredient bases. I am still a tad wary of shopping here based on reviews of workplace experience that I have personally heard – but that may be all hear’say. I try to source as many affordable beauty products as I can from Lush, who are incredibly open about the workers behind the products.
ALTERNATIVE SOURCE FOR SUNGLASSES: