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Conscious Clothing

Posted Jun 25 2011 10:12am
I wrote this blog post an age ago, but it seems never got around to posting it. I found it the other day and thought I’d pop it up. Friends over the years will testify to the fact that I’m a shopaholic and it’s very much true. I’m sure there’s a decent 12 step program but the honest truth is I won’t want to take part. Deep down somewhere I’m still that 15 year old year girl that read vogue like it was the bible that went to fashion school and dropped out. I still love clothes, when I wrote this the man I was dating bedroom was a testament to that, the 6 shopping bags with the half dozen dresses proved that and I only went out for a starbucks. The difference between me now and that 15 year old girl is that I’ve got a bit more conscious about my clothing choices. I wrote a blog piece about being greener with bodycare choices a while ago I think it’s the same with clothing.

There are a few clothing lines available which are organic and fair-trade, I’m not the biggest fan, they’ve never made a 1950’s style pencil skirt. However there are some wonderful things that make shopping that wee bit better for the planet. Leather goods are one of them – don’t freak out if your vegan, I’m talking about recycled leather goods. It’s been done so we might as well make the best off and use what we already have and just try hard not to buy more of it. I’ve said before on this blog I’m not vegan have been but am never going to be again but I don’t really like buying anything with new leather part of this is the fact that there was a leather factor near my college the smell is enough to make you never buy another piece of new leather.

There are some wonderful leather companies that use all recycled leather Ashley Watson a bag designer making some amazing bags using recycled leather. A small designer choosing to make a conscious choice by sourcing her fabric responabitly and doing something thoughtful. When I wrote this I had just purchased a lovely leather jacket from a small and every so amazing store in Calgary called Dick & Jane’s. It was made from 100% recycled leather not vintage but reconditioned leather.

I’ve notice over the last few months when I’ve been back in Scotland that lots of the high street stores now have some really interesting clothing made from more suitable sources. I bought this cute little pink jacket made from recycled car tyres how amazing is that? You could never tell which is what’s totally amazing.

Vintage clothing is pretty much always my first choice when shopping. Buying used clothes keeps stuff out of landfills, so that’s bloody brilliant. There are a ton of local thrift stores near my home and my work so I’m a lucky lady, a few years ago I use to go a few times a week to these stores, less these days as I’m running out of space to store clothes. Thrift store shopping is totally an adventure in lots of ways it’s not your average mall shopping trip.

First things first I donate pretty much as much as buy to thrift stores keeps the cycle going so there’s always something new for someone else, they always provided work for people in needing of training or back to work skills.

When I shop in thrift, I like to make a plan working from one end of the city to the other, it can be harder work but lots of stores have nothing in them the day you visit. You never know what you’re going to find, you need to go through the racks piece by piece looking at the labels and the garment quality. It’s important when buying in these stores to do an inspection of the piece of clothing you want to buy ~ look for holes, stains or other needed repairs. I can mend most things myself, but if you can’t work out if it’s worth taking to be fixed some things just aren’t.

Once you start shopping in thrift stores you’ll start to love the variety and quirkiness of what’s available. Some many different items, from so many different places all with their own story. At times I wonder who donated what and what cause them to buy that piece of clothing in the first place. When you find something really fabulous your heart will jump, that jump will give you the perseverance to sift through the mass of things that you just don’t want.

As people start to make more conscious choices about their clothing thrift stores are becoming cool and economical. More and more people seem to be shopping there and hopefully donating as well. This is great the more people involved in recycling and reusing the better.
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