I recently watched Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, a BBC 3 documentary presented by Stacey Dooley. The program explores how the fashion industry pollutes the environment, focusing on the damage textile factories have on local water supplies.
I was vaguely aware of the effect that the fashion industry has on the environment, but I didn’t realise it was quite so devastating – fashion is the world’s second biggest polluter, after fossil fuels. The documentary is shocking and it’s made me analyse and reconsider my shopping habits. Although my blog isn’t primarily about fashion anymore, I still feature outfit posts like this one, where I’ll talk about the clothes I’m wearing and what trends I like. I accept that in my own way, I am a part of the problem and everyone in the industry needs to wake up to the consequences of mass consumption. I try to buy from ethical companies, The Reformation, Veja and Ace and Jig are particularly good. I want to feature things that are affordable but I think fast fashion has left us with a distorted view of what clothes should actually cost. If an item has been manufactured ethically and sustainably, it will be more expensive and there’s just no way around it. You can also be sure that if clothing is under a certain price, someone along the line is being screwed. But I’m not here to lecture anyone on buying cheap clothes and I’ve still got things from various high street shops whose origins are probably questionable.
I’ve decided to try and style my old clothes and create looks for the blog that aren’t about where to buy a trendy new piece, but are more focused on how the get the maximum wear out of the clothes you have. I recently found a couple of Lily and Lionel maternity dresses lurking at the back of my wardrobe. Neither of them were meant to be maternity wear, but I bought them in a bigger size and they worked pretty well. I tried them on again and they looked like tents, so I had them taken up to a midi length and cinched them in with belts, you can see the dresses on my Instagram. If you take the time to examine the clothes you already have, there will be stuff you can alter or re-style to create new looks.
Does this mean I’m never going to buy anything new? Of course not. However, I’ll do my best to be conscious of what I do buy and try to choose things that will have a life beyond one season. Buying vintage and second hand is also a wonderful way to shop green. Introducing a few vintage pieces into your wardrobe lends original flare and prevents you from looking too generic.
I’ve been wearing this outfit a lot recently. It’s not especially fashion forward, except maybe for the cut out details at the elbows of the jumper, which is an old favourite from Teatum Jones. I picked up the skirt from the Lily and Lionel sample sale, the belt is from And Other Stories and I bought the boots last year.