This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!
On the people who make my clothes and supporting a zero waste textile economy
Last week, as Alla was going through her closet to find out where each of her clothing pieces were made, I was going through mine, only checking the sources of where I bought each item. It seems that we were both super inspired to look at our clothing purchasing decisions after watching the Norwegian reality series, SWEATSHOP.
The 111 items I examined included workout gear, but excluded outerwear, footwear, underwear/lingerie, pajamas, and accessories. The results of just the clothing were interesting to note.
Six items I bought directly from the designer who made the piece.
11 items were gifts.
11 items were handmade or custom made, which I likely bought or got for free at an event.
25 items were purchased at a mall or chain store, and likely mass produced by a foreign factory that encourages unfair living conditions.
29 items are second-hand.
29 items are bought from a local retail store, either brick & mortar or online.
I found that most of the mall-purchased items were not new and likely purchased many years ago. I started to change my shopping habits once I had done a one-year local fashion challenge for the lifestyle blog I used to run in 2011, so three years of buying has made quite the difference.
While I applauded myself for having over 3/4 of my wardrobe locally purchased, second-hand, gifted or handmade, I thought about the gifted items and local boutiques and realized that unless I check the label on each item, there is still a high chance of it having been made in a foreign factory. After all, many brands have sales and distribution channels that make their way to local boutiques, and while it is great to support local business owners, I am also still supporting the company who manufactured that piece of clothing.
I am sure that if I included outerwear, footwear, and accessories into the mix, there might be even more of a percentage going to foreign-made items.
Have you looked at your closet or in your drawers lately and examined the impact of your clothing purchasing decisions?
Check out an updated blog on what happened after I did a material analysis of my wardrobe here.