*Dress - Clothing at Tesco £12, *Tights - Marks and Spencer £2, *Brogues - Primark £12, *Cardigan - Boden via charity shop £2 *Necklace - Disney a gift from Mr Thrifty
As a confirmed second hand and vintage lover it is quite strange to have a brand new (not even reduced) item in my wardrobe and on my back. I honestly do struggle with buying cheap, disposable clothes. If I buy new clothes, 9 times out of 10 (I probably buy 20 brand new clothing items, including shoes, a year) they're from top end high street stores such as Monsoon because I know the items are set to last, are good quality and as with Monsoon they tend to have a proven ethical standard (recently named most ethical high street brand.) I prefer to buy a better quality dress once, than 5 dresses that fall apart. After I've finished with an item I offer it around my friends, sell it on eBay or send it on to a charity shop. Unlike many others I refuse to send any old tat to charity shops so I like the items I do send to them to be good quality, well kept and intact.
Sometimes the more ethical end of the high street just doesn't meet my budget and I'll struggle to find what I need on my charity shop and bootsale hunts and then the places that do suit my needs are the likes of Primark and supermarkets. I do really struggle with what I'm doing when I hand over the cash. I struggle wondering who made the item and under what conditions plus I struggle knowing that the majority of items that I've walked past in that shop will end up in landfill (disposable fashion and all that) sometime in the not so distant future.
For me, my code of ethics matters as much as a code of ethics imposed by a brand that trades on the term "ethical brand". 99% of my clothes are second hand or vintage, I never, ever throw clothes away, I mend clothes, I look after my clothes and I donate my clothes to charity shops after I've finished with them. At this moment in time there is so little information about what is ethical and who is ethical in terms of fashion and shopping that I honestly think, for me, I'm doing the best I can without bankrupting myself.
Where do you stand? Do you have your own code of ethics when it comes to buying clothes or anything else?
P.S. There are some interesting debates about buying cheap clothes here, here and here, and it is certainly worth taking a look at the comments section on all the posts.