Friday, August 16, 2013

Fashion Ethics

Like many people, I've been acutely aware of the problems of fast fashion--their exploitation of labour, environment and resources. I'm equally aware that many more expensive brands are guilty of the same crimes and realise that contemporary fashion is based on a system that exacerbates most of these problems and relies on exploitation and short term thinking. I don't have time for much recreational reading these days (even work gets squeezed when there's an infant around), but managed to read a few chapters of Lucy Siegel's To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? when I was home. It compounded my guilt about my current situation--as a (relatively) new mum who has already been vomited on once today and is still breast feeding, what should I wear? I've bought from Zara and Club Monaco on sale (and I presume the latter chain, for all its higher prices/better quality, is still as culpable as other chain retailers, but I've done so because I don't have time to make clothes right now, can't fit into some of my older clothes, many of which are dry clean only, silk, don't unfasten down the front and are thus unsuitable for my current life even if I can wear some of them for work. I can't sit around naked and am only too aware that I'm exploiting someone whatever I do. Plus I'm not really back to my original shape even if the scales say that I'm close to my preconception weight, so many pieces just don't fit.

In writing this post, I am trying to absolve my guilt. I'm also eager to have new pretty things and sometimes just need a fix, which in itself is part of the problem. Having an overstuffed wardrobe or three is one thing but so little is appropriate right now. When I was pregnant, it was easier as I knew it would end but I have no idea how much longer my little one will be so deliciously messy.


Marti said...

until he is 3! i did say fuck it and wore what i wanted though...

erica said...

i've been buying more and more from chain retailers since i had kids. i also buy much less than before. it's purely a pragmatic move both in terms of budget and for the messy little ones.

i don't think you should feel guilty about this, moya. it's a stop gap measure, and it's not like you're shopping and tossing all the time!