It’s really hard to be ethical in this capitalistic consumerist culture I’ve found myself living in. From waste, to food, to the use of fossil fuels, the production of the clothes we wear and the testing of things on animals, our whole society is built upon shrouding average joe in ethical ignorance so they will consume without question.
I can’t do it anymore. Consumption for the sake of consumption, particularly if the ethical origins of whatever it is I “need” are uncertain. The more I learn about the big picture, and what our society is built upon, the less I can ignore the elephant in the room.
It’s the reason I mostly sew and thrift my clothes. Thrifted clothes are better off on my body being used then ending up in landfill, and I can guarantee the skirt I sewed wasn’t created in a sweat shop, as I was the human who sewed it (shameless brag: I totally sewed this skirt ;P) Now, I can’t live a 100% ethical lifestyle and own things like a car, and I can’t be certain that the thrifted garment was produced ethically, nor can I guarantee the production of the materials I used to make an item are squeaky clean, but it lessens my personal impact on the environment and inhumane working conditions.
Now, you may be wondering about what’s got my ethical knickers in a knot all of a sudden. The context for this (rant?) is I was offered a brand deal. The company in question (who I’m not going to name specifically) is an online fast fashion retailer sporting pretty clothes for minimal money. These dresses sell for prices that scream “the person at the bottom of this production chain don’t get paid properly and have questionable working conditions”.
I’ve spent the past few hours deliberating over the offer. If done well, it could potentially become a financially and socially lucrative long term relationship. Also, they were going to send me really cool clothes. Like, right up my alley really cool clothes. I had an outfit picked out, but as I was scrolling through the thousands of garments on offer I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt. How can a shop that sells a skirt for $20 possibly pay the humans in their manufacturing processes a living wage? It’s simple: They can’t.
I tried to google my way out of it. Searching for the ethics of *company name here* . The more I searched, the more I found evidence of the answer I didn’t want to hear. Instead of sending an email with the items I liked the look of and my address, I sent one asking about the ethics of the company. I sent the email an hour ago, and I doubt I’ll receive a reply. A few pretty items of clothing are not worth crossing my ethical boundaries for.
Fast fashion culture, and the ethical ignorance surrounding it really worries me. It’s why I choose not to participate in it, even if it’s hard, and even if it could potentially advance my career.
If you’re interested in checking up on the ethics of the stuff you buy, or are curious about making your participation in society more ethical, I suggest you check out this website : guide.ethical.org.au This website serves as a quick reference to the origin and production of many brands and products. I often research things here and find it to be a great resource!
In unrelated news I’m giving semi regular video lookbooks a go! You can see the outfit, prancing and twirling in action (accompanied by my chill ukulele/flute tracks)