My consumer bevaviour (and Janets too) has changed quite a lot over the past years. Can you imagine, the Stuffies shopping at Primark? I do, we even have a few pictures to proof it. Really, there was a time we bought so much it didn’t fit into our suitcases anymore. Especially our ‘first time’ was memorable: years ago Primark was located in a suburb in London, but not on Oxford Street. No, somewhere away from the city center. We had to travel at least an hour to get there and we faced wind and rain (it was pooring that day). On the one hand it feels like yesterday, but on the other hand it doesn’t. Sometimes I feel a bit jealous of people buying everything they want. But most of the time I’m astonished by the consumer behaviour of many people: buying so many things they can’t even carry it and without thinking about who made their clothes.
When we visited London years ago (or the USA, where we loved to go shopping too) we would buy a lot of clothes. During our most recent trips and holidays we noticed a change: no need for extra suitcases anymore ;-). There are a few reasons for this change:
– my budget has changed: I’ve decided there’s more to life than work or money. So, less money means less to spend on clothes.
– And, it’s almost impossible to close my eyes for all the articles, movies and information on social media about working conditions and the environment. Years ago, thoughts about who made my clothes or where they were made didn’t even cross my mind. You probably know I don’t really like kids, right? But even I can’t stand the thought of children working in factories, children who can’t enjoy their childhood because we rich people want cheap clothes. And think about all these people in Bangladesh that died in that factory, how horrible is that!?
But, I have a confession to make: “I don’t always shop 100% sustainable”. It’s a choice, I know. We both have a 80 – 20 % policy when it comes to fair fashion: 80 % fair fashion, vintage, second-hand or diy). And the other 20% gives us a chance to buy brands which at least a C score at Rank a Brand. Janet is really good at researching and she discovered that some fair fashion brands (like Skunkfunk, Patagonia and Veja) don’t even get a C-score at Rank a Brand. And brands like Kuyichi, Komodo and Toms are rated with D’s and E’s.
For the both of us, our 80 – 20 policy works best: sometimes it’s just a little bit easier (and within my budget) to find an addition to my basic fair fashion wardrobe in the regular stores.
I just love to see so more and more fair fashion brands in the stores and online. The fair fashion brands seem to have adopted a bit of a conservative style: sporty and basic. That’s great for putting together a basic wardrobe of course. I love the Armed Angels T-shirts and other basics. I also wear fair fashion socks and underwear. Except for bra’s, unfortunately: I haven’t found a sustainable brand which offers firm, comfortable and pretty bras.
What my closet lacks is a comfortable boyfriend jeans for example. And believe me, I’ve been searching for one for quite some time. Even the secondhand men jeans I tried weren’t suitable. So, what to do? Janet did some research and discovered Marks & Spencer is ranked a C. That’s about the same ranking as for example H&M. Not a 100% fair fashion unfortunately, but I decided to apply the 80 – 20 rule. Temptation ruled: a long striped summer dress, a blouse and a top also ended up in my closet. You’ll probably see these items soon. Hopefully these clothes will last a few years. That’s also a bit sustainable, right?
How about you, do you only buy and wear fair fashion these days? Mostly I’m looking for longsleeves and t-shirts with a V-neck and for the perfect winter coat. Finding a fair fashion bra (firm enough, comfortbale and pretty) would be nice too. And, shoes. Fair fashion shoes are either very expensive or just not my taste. I wear TOMS for example, during summer. And secondhand boots. But my sneakers aren’t sustainable at all. Of course there are a few fair brands available online, but I prefer trying on shoes in a store. When exploring German cities, we always hope to find sustainable shoes. Maybe in Hannover the next few days…
Is it: “Ooops, shame on me”, or is it ok to shop at regular stores once in a while? And how do you feel about the rankings on websites like Rank a Brand? Do you still buy Toms or Komodo? Or do you think it doesn’t make a difference?
Scroll down for some blurry bonus pics….