the moral wardrobe: where I came from

Ethical Details: Top – thrifted; Cardigan – thrifted; Dress – old; Leggings – old; Purse – Manos Zapotecas

When I first started this blog, I eased into things. Rather than go straight to fair trade, I looked up Corporate Social Responsibility standards for the companies I already liked. But, after doing more research, I began to realize that merely placing standards on top of a broken fast fashion system isn’t ultimately sustainable. I could no longer justify shopping at old standbys like H&M and Old Navy.

So, I made my decision and I cut ties, but I still had a whole bunch of sweatshop stuff in my closet. For months, I felt uncomfortable that so many components of my every day outfits were unethical and I strove to find ethical replacements to present to you in my outfit posts. But I realize now that that’s also unethical. The fact of the matter is that I have stuff that was produced by people in unhealthy environments who didn’t receive a living wage. But it would be a greater injustice to throw it all away and get stuff that makes me feel better about myself. I should honor them by cherishing what I have and I should honor the environment by using these perfectly good things until they turn to tatters.

My wardrobe is my journey. Maybe it’s good to remember where I came from.

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  • Completely agree! I love the idea of honoring workers by appreciating the things they've made. The damage is done, so the least we can do is make those items last rather than throw them out.

  • I have started remaking in the last year. in general i am remaking from charity shop find, and some from my own wardrobe. and the more i sew the more conscious i am of clothing manufacture, limitations of fast fashion, and how important it is to develop your own style which can reflect your aesthetic and individual lifestyle. well done on your blog

  • This is such a good post. "Journey" is the perfect word to describe this, and I was just thinking about mine recently. I was looking for better options for summer clothing (I just can't wear synthetic fabrics in the Texas heat), and I knew that researching cotton would take me down a path that might be really difficult to learn about. And once you know, you can't ignore it, or I can't, but it changed me for the better. I think we all have that moment where we want to throw out everything that isn't ethical in our closets, but like you said, that would be an injustice. I try to wear what I have until it literally wears out, and then replace it with better options.

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