The ups and downs of attempting to go a whole year without buying any new clothes...

...without becoming a naturist, as the title suggests

Sunday, 16 January 2011

January: A very quiet month

I can safely say that so far this year, I have spent absolutely nothing on clothes, shoes or accessories. What's more I haven't felt the need to at all. Am I the only person who didn't buy anything in the ubiquitous sales?

I have been massively enjoying my Christmas socks and pyjamas and I finally parted with a truly worn out wool cardigan which I had been clinging on to on account of the fact that we are renting a FREEZING cold house and it was my warmest top. But I have taken up layering others and feel much better about myself now I'm not constantly wearing a big, bobbly mess of wool. So now there's even more space in the cupboard!

Due to the comforting warmth of having a laptop on my lap, I have been researching the ethical background of some big companies this month. My thinking is that once I start buying clothes again; I want to invest in a few, quality things which will last (although I will obviously carry on trying to find things from second-hand shops rather than new). So I am going to research the few shops that I really like, and see just how ethical they are. I have started with Marks and Spencer, which is invaluable for stocking up on decent underwear and plain t-shirts etc. Their credentials seem pretty good. I didn't know that the 'Plan A' project was so broad; with the company attempting to change some surprising aspects of production as well as the more obvious 're-use hangers' and 'reduce packaging' efforts. I had read that a few months ago it was discovered that M&S shared a factory with the dreaded Primark. While I'm unsure of the truth behind this, through reading the Plan A documentation, I noticed that they have set up several 'model factories' to promote ethical manufacturing. I also like the fact that they attempt to include a few fair trade and/or organic pieces in many of their ranges. 

Clearly M&S are not the perfect ethical store; no 'supermarket' style store ever will be, but compared to the others at the top, M&S are definitely making the most effort to promote better manufacturing procedures, more sustainable sourcing of materials and ethical trade. This I like, and I will continue to support the company; attempting to buy as much as I can from their fair trade and organic lines. I hope that you will too, as the more people who show an interest, the more likely they are to improve the choice of such products.

Still left to review then, are: Fat Face, White Stuff and Esprit. In the mean time, I'd be really interested to know if anyone else has any opinions or information on any of the shops/companies... I am hoping I won't discover that they are all owned by some horrendous multi-national; but I wouldn't be at all surprised. 

Off to put some more layers on then...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Claire!
    I'm really enjoying reading your blog, sustainable living/ minimalist living is also something I am passionate about!
    As far as ethical clothing (and warm)clothing, do you have Canada Goose in England? Or American Apparel? These are both Canadian companies, but you never know how far these companies have ventured! They both have factories only in North America (AAs is only in downtown LA) and pay a very high wage to their workers (and conditions etc) Canada Goose especially is pretty expensive but a good investment if you want a winter jacket that will last you forever, it's the warmest coat I have ever worn/owned!