I love clothes. Like, really love clothes. But the more I’ve learned about the damaging and inhumane processes perpetuated by big fashion companies, the more I’ve realised that the clothes I wear cannot be beautiful if they hurt people or the planet in the process,
I get it: ethical fashion is a minefield, and I’m definitely not here to judge you. In fact, I was the worst for careless fashion consumption before I learned there is a better way.
I started out as a fashion blogger over 5 years ago, and my focus was on ‘affordable’ (read: expendable) fashion. My limited budget made me believe I couldn’t afford high quality clothes, and my desire to be ‘trendy’ meant garments only stayed in my wardrobe for a few seasons.
I worked with big brands frequently, and I felt so lucky to be ‘gifted’ clothes from popular companies. Receiving these fast fashion freebies felt like the pinnacle of success to me, and I loved always having a new outfit to wear in each Instagram photo.
But in December 2018, after five flat moves in two years, I found myself despairing at the vast quantity of clothes I had owned – and then discarded – within that time with precious little to show for it.
I realised I was done hoarding clothes that didn’t work with my style. I was fed up buying or being gifted clothes I only liked, rather than loved. And I was totally over being stuck in a cycle of having no money, yet piles of rubbish clothes.
Even considering the kilos of clothing I’d worn once or twice then ditched, I still had mountains of garments bulging from every drawer and cupboard. But I still felt like I had nothing to wear most days.
It took a lot of un-learning to recover from my fashion overconsumption, let me tell you! But after a year spent studying for a diploma in fashion styling, working in a hands-on role for an ethical fashion brand, and really honing my personal style, I’m finally in a place where I look at my wardrobe and genuinely love each and every one of the garments that have earned a place in my wardrobe.
For the longest time, ethical fashion has had a bad style reputation. Go on, try and visualise ‘ethical fashion’. Does something beige, boho, and boxy spring to mind? That’s how I always felt about shopping more consciously: I was terrified trading in High Street shopping for ethical brands meant I’d have to adopt a more minimal look. Boy, how wrong I was!
I love colour, embellishment, and anything ‘extra’. I want to encourage everyone (especially fellow ‘maximalists’) to embrace ethical fashion, and showcase that shopping sustainably is cool. I refuse to compromise my style or my values, and hours researching ethical brands available to buy in the UK today has proven to me that I don’t have to.
Of course, the most ethical garment is the one you already own. I’m passionate about helping people rediscover hidden gems in their wardrobe, and then track down ethical options from small brands to fill the gaps.
My background is journalism, and you’ll find still me writing away over on the blog section of the site.
I’m also the co-host of ethical fashion podcast Common Threads with fellow sustainability lover, Ruth MacGilp. Join us on iTunes, Spotify and Google Podcasts to learn more about why become a conscious consumer matters.