This is always going to be a controversial subject let’s be honest, but for me its too important for us just to shut down or ignore. I don’t think it matters if your hard core sustainable, just testing the waters with the odd purchase, or thinking about it as a lifestyle option, we all have a common goal to make this planet a better place for future generations.
I like to think of myself as a “sustainable” blogger, but the thing is this word “sustainable” means different things to different people. To some it’s only buying Second Hand, others its buying from solely Ethical and Sustainable sources and then there’s the people that do what they can when they can.
The one thing I’ve found about living a more sustainable life is that there’s usually a much bigger price tag on the items you want to buy. That stands whether its fashion, food, beauty or skincare. The thing is, I get it there’s always going to be more of a premium on the skill and workmanship that goes into making, manufacturing, sourcing and producing better products. Not to mention the fact that we want the workers making our garments to be paid a fair wage, live in good accommodation, get free childcare and lunches.
So in step the high street sustainable collections, like Mango’s Committed Collection, H&M’s Conscious Collection, Zara Life, Asos Marketplace, TopShop Recycled, trying to make changes and bring affordable choices to our wardrobes.
Now I know what your going to say, because you’ll have heard it all before, “Greenwashing”, “it’s too little too late”, “ fast fashion”, “Poor manufacturing conditions” …. the list goes on. There are so many more quotes and statements I could add but you get the idea.
I’m probably going to be controversial here but surely we have to start somewhere? Have these companies made mistakes? Yes, but if they are prepared to offer a more sustainable, ethical collection that’s affordable and allows more people to make a better, more informed choice in what they are buying, isn’t that a start? Obviously buying a dress from People Tree would be preferential to one from H&M Conscious Collection but by the same token isn’t it better to buy one from Zara Life than Primark?
The thing is, in our own way we are all just “trying”, trying to do better, be better, and I can’t make someone, No actually I won’t make someone feel guilty because they buy from a High street Sustainable Collection. I think the one fundamental problem with being Ethical or Sustainable is that people instantly think your are opinionated, pushy, obnoxious and not really interested in any other view point. This just isn’t me, I’ve been doing this cruelty free, ethical thing since 2003/2004 and honestly it’s a whole lot easier now than it was back then. I can distinctly remember learning how to sew and buying an electric sewing machine and overlocker to make my own clothes because I was so frustrated with it all! I actually still have some of them in my wardrobe now so I guess I did ok. It’s funny Cam would kill me if he knew I was writing this, but at the back of his wardrobe somewhere is his Ben10 Omnitrix Pillow and Pj’s I made him, because I refused to buy them! This is the thing at this point, companies and brands really couldn’t have cared less about recycling, being ethical, or sustainable. You mentioned the words and you must be some kind of Hippy Dippy weirdo that wanted to live on a barge and make daisy chains all day, so the fact we are having conversations and making changes is incredible now.
The last thing I ever want to do is preach or guilt people into my way of thinking. This is a choice, remember that, and as with all choices it should be done through knowledge and understanding, not bullying.
If you are trying to make changes in your life and you want to create a more ethical wardrobe, then you should, but do it at your own pace, in a way that you can afford it, and never ever feel like your not doing enough. The way I see it, if we wait until we need say a new jumper or dress and then buy it from a more sustainable brand that’s making a commitment, its making a change. You don’t have to throw out everything in your wardrobe and start all over again (Which isn’t exactly ethical.) with nothing but sustainable clothes to make a difference. If you switch out your usual washing liquid for an Eco-Friendly one that’s fully recyclable, your making a massive change. It’s the small changes that we know we can stick to, both mentally and financially that matter.
I do think that’s something that doesn’t get touched on a lot, Financial commitments. We are in a time of Food Banks, Beauty Banks, Women needing help with their monthly Period Supplies, because without it they can’t leave the house, go to work or school. Most, if not all of these people want a better choice too, want to support the planet, make a difference for their families, but it has to be financially viable.
Should they feel guilty for shopping on the High Street for Ethical Options? I don’t think so. I think now is the time for us all to start working together, to support each other, to say ‘ You know what, whatever you can do today, tomorrow, next week is making a difference’ and lets lose the guilt, lets Educate NOT Suffocate!
If you want to check out any of the collections I’ve talked about then click below:
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