You already know that I care a lot about how the way I live impacts the world around me. Over the course of the last year, I have started thinking and reading a lot about the clothing industry: The way the clothes I wear are produced and the people that have to work for it, what I can do to fight against exploitation of the workers.
The sad truth is: Nothing you can buy on the high street (not even expensive garments) is produced in a fair way. Not even the special Fair Clothing Lines most big chains have produced lately. There’s always someone in the production chain who gets taken advantage of. And the truly fair companies have something in common as well: They are expensive. At least way too expensive for a student like me. There’s still some little things we can do and today I want to share my ideas with you all!
Host a clothing swap party with all your friends (and their friends)
Everybody can bring some garments that s/he doesn’t wear anymore and a yummy snack. You will definitely find some great new pieces, have tons of fun trying everything on and even clean out your closet a little bit. I did it once with some of my friends and it was so much fun!
Shop for secondhand, online
It’s mostly stuff that nobody
would wear anymore, but you can find some true gems as well. The best idea is to search for certain brands and if you have found something nice, look if there’s more to be found in this seller’s shop. My favourite is Kleiderkreisel
, a German site, but I bet there are international sites as well (maybe Asos Marketplace
Define your style
Write down what essential pieces you truly need in your wardrobe. Pieces you can wear for ages, that will never get old. On my
list there are a white and a light blue silk blouse, cashmere sweaters in grey and black and some basic t-shirts. If you have defined what you will need, you can hunt down these pieces in fair, smaller companies and splurge a little bit. I highly recommend Everlane
– although I personally haven’t gotten any pieces there (since they don’t ship to Europe – yet), everybody is over the moon with their quality. Another great fair trade company is People Tree
Support smaller companies
If you go looking on Etsy or Dawanda you will find some truly unique shops by smaller designers. They create their pieces themselves (instead of exploiting people in Bangladesh or India). And you will get a beautiful, handmade piece that you can keep for years and years.
These are my ‘strategies’ to shop fairly at the moment. Do you have any good tips as well? I would love to hear!
Graphic by the talented Danielle Marshall for Hanna’s Places.