Wednesday, 16 January 2013

No more unethical treatment of elephants

It has been some time since I have been comfortable with mall-bought clothing. I find that my desire to have something new and shiny does not justify buying clothing that has been made unethically produced. That hasn't stopped me from buying clothing produced unethically, unfortunately. I'm a sucker for malls - I love the conveniency of having many shops in one places and it's handy not having to rummage through piles of icky stuff to search for something that I might like and that might also fit me, or worrying about buying things without being able to try them on.

In fact, unlike many of the bloggers who I have seen swear off buying unethically made clothing, I have the distinct pleasure of disliking both online shopping and opshopping (or thrifting).

Why do I dislike online shopping? Firstly, living in New Zealand means that I usually don't get free shipping or returns (with the exception of ASOS, I believe). Secondly, often there aren't precise measurements on the site. Thirdly, even when there are, the measurements don't necessarily indicate whether a garment will actually fit well on my body or not. I've never had an item of clothing or shoes that I bought online fit properly.

Dress and petticoat that I bought online in April last year. I have worn the dress once and the petticoat twice.
Why do I dislike opshopping? It takes a long time, you spend a lot of time looking at things going "will that fit me? Do I even like it?", when you do like something it doesn't fit or is damaged and I often go home with things I end up realising later that I don't even like or are not something I'd ever wear. I spent $30 on a leather jacket I may never wear, because it looked cool in the opshop.

Skirt, blouse, scarf all opshopped. Pantihose given to me. Barely worn any of them. Bought the wig online - wear that occasionally.
Despite my dislike for both of these things, I have decided that from now on my clothing purchases are going to be made either from an opshop or from a shop that produces clothing ethically (ideally from New Zealand. I still plan to go to the mall because it's time I spend with my mother and because I like seeing the fancy clothing, but if I find something I really like, I'll just take a photo of me wearing it. Like this:

One of my favourite outfits ever, and the only thing I owned was the black cami xD The rest of it cost up into the hundreds, so I took a photo and left it in the shop. It makes me just as happy having this photo as it would having the clothes.

I feel somewhat like I'm just jumping on the bandwagon, following in the footsteps of bloggers I follow and respect as they make conscious decisions about what they wear and how they influence the world through their purchases, but although I have no problem in emulating the decision of those women, I do think this is also a conscious decision of my own to say no to a culture that demands we buy new things constantly (which I always ignore anyway - trends, what trends?) at the expense of those who are forced to make them.

Hopefully, if this causes me lots of stress and irritation (having big-ish boobs and the longest rise you ever did see cause me enough of that as it is) it will be in a funny way so I can share it with you :D

*The title of the post comes from a line in the song The Humans Are Dead by Flight of the Conchords. It was the first thing that came to mind when I began to think about this post.

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