corporate social responsibility

the moral wardrobe: oldies

personal style
h & m jumper
polaroids
sseko designs loafers
Ethical Details: Top - made in USA; Dress - old; Shoes - Sseko Designs c/o Made Fair

Sometimes the most ethical thing you can do for your wardrobe is wear out your old things. I bought this dress at H&M a few years ago on a trip to Richmond with a friend. At the time, I was impressed with H&M's corporate social responsibility report and thought they'd be a good option for ethical goods. My opinion has changed over the years - fast fashion is unsustainable regardless of how well-intentioned your policies are - but I am pleased to see that H&M is starting to make jeans out of recycled materials and plans to use organic cotton for all its cotton goods within 5 years. It's not perfect, but it's a start. 

I've been spending a huge amount of time at work preparing for and implementing our seasonal switchover to fall-appropriate clothing. Lots of physical labor. But it's pretty much done now and I'm excited to have more time to enjoy the cooler weather and maybe stop by a nearby sunflower field in the next couple of weeks.

A note on the camera: my parents sent me back from my recent visit with my old Polaroid camera, so I bought myself some film and tried it out! It still works just fine and it made a nice prop for this photo shoot. Maybe I should hold more things in my hands when I take outfit photos. It makes me feel like I have a purpose.

the moral wardrobe: where I came from

Ethical Details: Top - thrifted; Cardigan - thrifted; Dress - old; Leggings - old; Purse - Manos Zapotecas

When I first started this blog, I eased into things. Rather than go straight to fair trade, I looked up Corporate Social Responsibility standards for the companies I already liked. But, after doing more research, I began to realize that merely placing standards on top of a broken fast fashion system isn't ultimately sustainable. I could no longer justify shopping at old standbys like H&M and Old Navy.

So, I made my decision and I cut ties, but I still had a whole bunch of sweatshop stuff in my closet. For months, I felt uncomfortable that so many components of my every day outfits were unethical and I strove to find ethical replacements to present to you in my outfit posts. But I realize now that that's also unethical. The fact of the matter is that I have stuff that was produced by people in unhealthy environments who didn't receive a living wage. But it would be a greater injustice to throw it all away and get stuff that makes me feel better about myself. I should honor them by cherishing what I have and I should honor the environment by using these perfectly good things until they turn to tatters.

My wardrobe is my journey. Maybe it's good to remember where I came from.