Let me begin this blog post with the biggest congratulations to all the SIxers for completing 46 days of wearing the same items of clothes and raising money and awareness for garment workers worldwide! Well done all!
Making it meaningful…
So here is the blog on how I intend to take action on how to make the six items challenge meaningful … not just for six weeks, but for the rest of my life! I hope you will join me. :0)
So where do I shop?
Nearly every single (wonderful) person who has donated to me on this challenge has asked the same thing and I completely understand why: “I agree with you. I want to make your challenge meaningful….. So where do I shop?”
I totally get this! This is how I first felt when I started doing the challenge. Tell me who the goodies are, and who the baddies are. The baddies I will avoid, and the goodies I will shop from all the time.
As Labour Behind the Label has said, it’s not that simple. LBL doesn’t advocate boycotts of shops, as the first people to lose out on a boycott are usually the garment workers themselves. So, there are 3 key things you can do to make your shopping more ethical and it does include a list of goody shops, however please bear in mind, we need the baddies to change to make the garment world a fairer place. So number one on the list is the most important!
- Take action.
Tell your High St shops that you care about the garment workers overseas and you want to know that you are buying from a shop which is ethical. You can do this in two main ways. First off, you can ask the frontline staff in the shop if there is an ethical policy for garment workers overseas. There is nothing more powerful that the collective voice of the consumer. If the big bosses from High St shops are getting feedback from their frontline staff that consumers are asking about ethical policy and it may affect their sales, then you can be sure they will start to take notice.
Write to your High St shops- Labour Behind the Label produces a report each year on the UK’s most popular High St. Shops and reports on how they are doing with safeguarding the rights of their workers. Here it is:
Take a look at the report on High St shops and target a few you’d like to write to. Alternatively, write to all of them! You can either write the letter yourself or contact LBL and ask them to send you a sample letter.
There are also a number of ready made actions here including actions against M & S and Prada. So if you have a spare 5 mins, please take action today!
2.Don’t buy as much.
Look at your wardrobe. Really, look at your wardrobe! Do you need all those items of clothes? Do you really, really need them? Do you really, really wear them? If the answer is a resounding NO (like it was with me), have a good cull of the clothes that you don’t need then take them to your local charity shop. I have done this in stages over the last few weeks and it’s made me feel really, really good on a number of levels. Then, before you buy an item of clothing next time and filling up that wardrobe again, think, “Am I really going to wear this? Am I really, really going to wear this?!” Take a long hard look at the item of clothing, think about which shop you are in and whether that item of clothing is really going to last you. Is it going to add value to your life? Or is it disposable and rubbish? Has it contributed to garment workers losing out on basic rights that you and I take for granted? Are you wasting your hard earned money? If you answer yes to any of these questions, don’t buy it! Instead, do number 1 or number 3!
3. Shop at charity shops or shop ethically.
Charity shops can be amazing. It’s incredible the gorgeous little numbers you can pick up at a charity shop and it also means you are not part of the fast fashion chain, you are recycling clothes which means you are not part of the mass consumption world.
Or shop ethically! Below are some fantastic online shops where you can buy some stylish, sexy, fashionable and classy clothes with a completely clear conscience.
However, I must say again that action number one is the most important! We need the high street shops to change and show that they care about the human rights of all their workers. The only way we can really get these High St shops to listen to us is with your help. There is nothing more powerful than the collective voice of the consumer! Please make a stand today and be part of this fantastic, worthwhile movement!
Thanks all for your support,
Yours in a ethically bought Purple, polka dot dress,