ethical clothing dilemma

the other day heather, from cedar & bloom sent me a nice note about my wardrobe post.  she invited me to check out her post about her ten item wardrobe for fall/winter.  she also told me to check out a netflix documentary called the true cost.

i spent a bit of time perusing her choices for her fall/winter wardrobe (i am in love with 99% of it – i think next time heather is performing a wardrobe purge, she can send the items directly to me to give a new home) and last night, i watched the movie.

like my no farms, more housing developments realization a few weeks ago (more on that later), i did have a bit of an epiphany while watching the documentary.  while i am not moved much by the organic/gmo portion of things, i was appalled at the deplorable working conditions of the textile industry overseas.  this fact, combined with my general growing desire to shop smaller and american made (although through work, i have been to a few american garment factories and they also make me cringe), is making me rethink how i purchase my clothing.

i do have a quandary though…  there seems to be an unequal balance of ethical responsibility and financial responsibility when it comes to supporting slow fashion.  while it has always been my thought process that i would rather pay $100 for one pair of really well made pants that will last forever, over ten $10 pairs of crap, how does one justify some of the price tags that accompany slow fashion labels?   and then there is this part of me, this really cynical, grumpy part of me that can’t help but wonder if some companies aren’t exploiting the concept and overcharging because they understand that this is a new and novel concept in our society right now?  i mean, whole foods does sell water with cucumbers in it for some egregious amount because, well, people out there will buy it…

so, here i am trying to find my own balance.  the proper alignment of being socially responsible and financially responsible – because, well, i think that they are both prudent at this point in time.  i am now really on a search to find pieces that fit both categories for me and i am starting to find a few.

for instance, i really, really  want this $100 cashmere crew neck sweater from everlane

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i do not have any problem spending $100 on a cashmere sweater and i find the concept of their transparent pricing to be intriguing and reassuring.  the fact that it is ethically made (and they link up to the factory) is a nice bonus.

 i’ve also bought cute mermaid leggings from the etsy shop salty & southern.  (mine are teal though)

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she’s a military momma who states on her shop site:

“I hand make each and every piece myself using locally sourced materials and thrive on improvement to my patterns. A new line is in the works using organic and eco friendly fabrics with low chemical screen prints and vegan furs and leathers.

If I can stop one piece of clothing from being purchased from the fast fashion industry then I’ve made a small difference.”

her prices are extremely reasonable and i cannot wait to get my hands on the perfect pullover as soon as my finances allow!

so, i think that there are options out there, we as consumers just need to do our due diligence, not just accept the fact that in order to buy ethically we have to spend a fortune, and make wise decisions!

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