The good news is that I’ve been doing my usual thing – wearing thrifted fashion – all April long. The bad news is that I’ve had little time to post about it. I didn’t even have time this year to participate much in Fashion Revolution Week but I followed along and was so heartened to see awareness growing exponentially, both globally and locally. Here’s what I wore after Fashion Revolution Day, April 24, and why…
Besides the obvious “why” that this outfit was super comfy and easy to wear on a dreary day, I chose each piece specifically for this day:
- I thrifted the black joggers for $3.50 at a Goodwill in Anaheim. They’re originally made in the US by a local LA designer. Made very local in the US and thrifted.
- I commissioned the green tee from Winterberry Apparel for $40. It was made by hand by someone I know and have known for a long time. It is made from ethically sourced fabric and it is affordable. Sure, it’s more than a $5 tee from Old Navy BUT it was not made by modern-day slaves. That should be enough right there to stop everyone from wearing fast fashion, but it’s not, so we plow on.
- The blazer is by Lida Baday – a Canadian designer. It was made in Canada, thrifted by Adina and then I got it for free at a clothing swap. It’s a classic print and classic piece that will last as long as I fit it. Buy less, buy good quality, buy good style, wear longer, swap and donate. These are all simple sustainable strategies we can adopt today.
- The shoes are Josef Siebel and though I’m not 100% sure where they were manufactured, the company seems to have decent practices. I bought them regular retail BUT from an independently owned local shop rather than a big chain store. I bought them following my bunion surgery a year ago – I needed something flat and supportive that would accommodate my swelling and orthotics. Though I do believe in secondhand footwear, sometimes you need to buy firsthand, and when you do, you make the best choice you can.
- My necklace is a build-your-own pendant piece by She Does Create, a local jewelry designer. This piece is my hands-down favourite because of the versatility. I just change out the pendant to match my outfit!! It was affordable and I’m proud to call the hands that made it my big sister! She also made the jade and lava stone bracelets.
- The other bracelet is made by Jennea Frischke – the jewelry designing daughter of my grade one teacher!! She is local to Calgary but comes to the great maker sales in Edmonton too and I look forward to selecting a piece from her every show. Again, handmade jewelry is NOT comparable to Claire’s. Just look at all the beads on your accessories and imagine how much time it took to put together and ask yourself if the cost makes sense… People, things should not be so cheap. (unless they’re secondhand!)
- You can’t see my earrings in the outfit shot, but here they are! These are from Accessorize circa 2006 – I can’t be sure – and I don’t remember what I paid for them. I have worn them hundreds of times over the years. Consider the cost per wear into your purchases and buy things you will have for years. Quality over quantity!
Now, I managed to wear an “ethical” outfit with pieces that I know where they came from FOR ONE DAY. I could maybe do a few more days but after that, I would hit pieces in my wardrobe that, even though they were thrifted, I can’t be confident of their origin. How many days could YOU wear 100% ethical outfits?
I am no model and my 9-year-old hastily snapped these shots just before leaving for school and work last week. I don’t have a slickly filtered and edited product that is consistent across platforms. I look tired because I AM! (I’m solo parenting and trying to sell my house and keeping up my jobs and self-regulating with chocolate chips.) I am an every-day person of every-day size with an every-day budget and every-day style. I’m not going to get hundreds of “likes” which is okay because I don’t really care about measures like that… mostly. It does bother me a bit when I see fashion bloggers with hundreds or thousands of likes and they are perfect-looking women with perfect-looking photography AND they are touting fast fashion labels. I can get over the rest of it, but not that last part. I assume they work hard for the rest of it – to look good, hone their photography skills, etc. – that’s all legit though it certainly doesn’t represent me and is thus less relatable. But the fast fashion? No. Just no. Make a different choice. Use your platform for good. You will look just as good and get as many thousands of likes while wearing ethical clothing, and then you’ll be promoting ethical clothing. I’ve questioned a few bloggers and Instagrammers about their practices and they usually defend themselves… Their priority is the price so they promote thrifted, but also shop the sale racks at Walmart and H&M… They got paid to promote that Zara dress and that’s how they earn their living so… I have yet to come across a blogger or Instagrammer who who saw the light then changed their tune. So my challenge this year during Fashion Revolution Week was this:
Put your likes where your mouth is! Talk the talk then double tap on the walk! This isn’t about the likes or followers…
This is about the revolution.