I often find myself debating whether I should just completely run for the hills when I see clothes in anything other than a charity shop. As I walk down the high street, passing by the stylish and tempting windows of fashion stores I attempt to remember what my values about sustainable fashion are and why I need to choose better, why I need to be better.
I repeat these environmentally friendly mantas in my head over and over until I feel guilty for even looking. Walking into H&M stores feel like a deceitful love affair and every moment I spend thinking about how I don’t want to be caught. Now and again though I begin to feel tired of scrolling through Depop or fishing through the bargain bin in charity shops, so I find myself wandering into the arms of the fast new fashion enemy.
As a sustainable fashion blogger, I feel I should set an example and so I have always kept quiet about my few and far between excursions to the fashion giants of the high street and about buying new. But now I will share the truth with you, repent of my sins as it were.
I am no longer ashamed that I buy the occasional item from the highstreet. I only ever buy what I need and cannot find in second-hand marketplaces. For example, I had a little wardrobe epiphany the other day, all of my favourite clothes are summer clothes which means now the British summertime is doing what it does best...being cold, I am lacking in jumpers to fight off the winds.
I couldn’t find what I was looking for in Depop and I wasn’t willing to be chilly for a couple of days waiting for the post to arrive either. I scourged the vintage and charity shops but fell in love with no fleece. As I was leaving work one day though I found myself wandering into H&M and still clinging to the threads of my morals went to the conscious section. Right there...was the jumper I had been looking for. Perfect colour and fit. Made from 60% polyester recycled consumer waste it was a start.
The jumper in question...
The thing is, every pound we spend is a vote. The reason I’m okay with buying new clothes from high street shops with conscious initiatives is that its a way to encourage these business’ to continue their conscious lines and even expand them. Producing millions of garments will never be sustainable. However, ‘voting’ for them to be produced in a green way by buying conscious clothing now and again will show big business we are listening and we want them to do more in terms of sustainability.
Furthermore, buying new from upcoming smaller sustainable brands say ‘YES we see what you’re doing and we like it!’. I would rather support a small independent fashion brand any day of the week because I do believe that they (unlike huge corporations) can be sustainable long term. I recently discovered a new sustainable fashion brand I’m crazy about (will share in a later blog post- I promise) and bought a skirt from them which you can see in the title photo! Who can resist leopard print- right?!
In short, what I’m trying to say is...I am not perfect. I do buy new. When I do though, I do I consider it very intensely and I try to support green initiatives. I do not buy into new lightly. Everyone who attempts a zero waste life will know that you have to be realistic and practical. In sustainable fashion, the best option is being naked..don’t think that would work out well, then there’s second hand and then new green fashion. So there you are, I buy new, how many hail Mary’s do I get for that?