First posted ~ November of 2012
Second hand or flea market shopping has been in the news a lot lately, but as folks join the movement to keep material out of landfills or reduce our eco-footprint some push buy made in the US of A others believe reusing is best. However, the idea of wearing toxic fashions let alone recycling it is a disturbing thought given what we know and at the end of the day, it always seems to go back to making that dollar dollar
There are a few who do 2ndhand because of financial issues, some wear it for personal reasons and even more are on that path toward total sustainable living, but as a whole 2nd hand, up-cycling or Eco-friendly seem like great names but being ethically stylish? I guess that means intentionally buying, wearing, devoting your dollar dollars to sustainably made only. The fact is …it is a lot tougher than folks think. Have you looked at your labels? The dictionary states that being ethical means acting in an ethical manner from an ethical point of view. Again, the fact is being “ethically stylish” is almost a mission impossible.
Before you say she needs more education don’t get me wrong because I definitely get being “ethically stylish,” “acting with intent” but when store buyers, the fashion industry and whatnot go out of their way to use cheap labor or toxic material, being ethical demands that the industry cooperate. Unfortunately, this fight is just beginning. I have bought and overpaid for a dress or two; tried buying American made only as well, but found myself buying because of the cute factor first then finding out later that it was not made in the US of A or out of sustainable material, which definitely offends the “ethically stylish “code. The fact is fashion corporations decided outsourcing was more cost effective, cheap material maybe not sustainable meant more for the money; remember when big name models, entertainment folks and designers were caught using sweatshops. I know Levis are made both in the US as well as imported, believe me 501’s are my favorite but the prices can be insane though more sustainable. I buy them.
Lately, I have to say hearing the fashion industry in all its forms, say they are selling or being more ethically stylish is frustrating. There are reports of companies and brands, which sell USA, made, but may among others in the industry possibly be using toxic materials, which made the giant move toward 100% Organic, Natural or Sustainable take several giant steps backward. We need to buy and sell local, but again, almost a mission impossible as” Made in America” is not only more expensive the labels are far and few these days , the material is often blended with stuff we cannot pronounce . The history of the fashion industry and American Made is definitely a love hate thing as designers and stars back in the day were wearing fabulous clothes rarely found on the racks, only to find out they were actually getting their clothes made by sweat shops, in some well-known and unknown countries … and sustainable; probably not.
Yes, “Made in the USA” faded out to a blank whiteboard and the NYC garment district was but a memory for quite a while. There were some great “Where and what are they doing now” shows with older “go to” fashion designers, clothiers stating the fabric just is not the same nor are the people. The opportunity to make more clothes with cheap labor & material seemed to have become addictive and the image of what was going on in those countries is not good. Fashion will always be a work in progress, but learning that unfair labor practices and or that companies are producing great looking garments, but possibly using toxic material in 2013 is sad given all that has happened to the industry over the last fifteen years or so.
Thus, making it tough to be ethical let alone wear fashion that is ethically stylish or sustainable.
I believe in reuse reclaim repurpose redecorate and reduce … which keeps most material out of landfills
FYI … this was written back in November of 2012