ethical fashion

Eco-Ikat

Wearing

Tailored Dress  ♥  Old ASOS top  ♥  Vintage crossbody bag  ♥  Bonjour Store leather sandals  ♥  Salvaged pin 

It’s been a month since I’ve posted an outfit, would you believe that! Spring has turned to summer in that time, and only the mornings are pleasant now. For summer ‘17, my primary style goal is to make the shift towards ethical, mindful, slow fashion. Coming from the scarcity mindset that the lack of options in plus sizes inevitably steers you towards, I always felt that ethical fashion sounded wonderful in theory but would be impossible to implement. And yes, I’d probably want to make the occasional purchase on ASOS (for example) but for the foreseeable future, I’m taking advantage of India’s dressmaking culture and getting everything I can tailored. 

I went back to tailoring last winter after months of encouragement from Ushshi, for which I’ll be forever grateful because tailoring has fundamentally altered the baseline of how much I can do with clothing. I admit my motivations are rooted in selfishness - more than anything I’m dreaming of finally designing my dream wardrobe - at the same, given my current lifestyle, mindfulness feels natural to who I am. When I’m not working on blog-related stuff, I spend most of my time cooking, gardening, reading, and making things. It would be strange to not at least try to be mindful about the clothes I wear, considering how important they are to me.

Here’s what I’m planning to do this summer (and afterwards!) when it comes to my wardrobe

  • Shop locally and support local artisans.
  • Support independent makers with my wallet instead of big brands.
  • Recycle clothing in my wardrobe, which is to say wear stuff I’ve hardly ever worn instead of buying more. I’m especially guilty of this one because I tend to stick to just 5 or 6 pieces at any given time and then keep on replacing them with new ones.
  • Shop sustainably whenever possible, like vintage or second hand pieces instead of new. This is actually something I’ve been doing since I first started shopping online (I think about…15 years ago?) Some of my all time favourite pieces are second hand scores off eBay like my Brit Stitch satchel and Anthropologie jacket. Buying second hand clothing might not sound as glamorous as buying, say…organic, fairtrade clothing, but it’s a cheap, easy and useful thing you can do towards building a sustainable wardrobe. Whenever I buy second hand or vintage clothing online, it’s almost always from eBay (or Etsy) UK so I can get it delivered to my fiance and he can bring everything over in one go when he comes over. I would feel pretty awful flying over clothes one at a time halfway around the world even if I could afford to.
  • Invest more in quality pieces I can wear over and over again, now that I have a core wardrobe to see me through.

There’s also the fact that I can afford to do this now. There haven’t been a lot of times in the past 5 years that I could. Not to mention the question of access to a good tailor and the time needed to go fabric shopping and basically getting whatever I want to wear designed from scratch. Sometimes it takes a fitting session after the clothes are made to ensure that they sit well on my body. It’s time consuming and more expensive than buying the cheapest stuff on sale online and taking advantage of free shipping. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to afford both the budget and the leisure to do so.

The outfit

I’m so obsessed with smock dresses I rarely wear any other kind these days! This is one of the two midi smocks I’ve gotten tailored recently. Ikat is such a springy and fresh look, and a pattern I’ve always loved. If you’re looking for similar styles in natural fabrics, there might not be a lot of options in retail but Etsy is one place where you’ll find dresses in a similar aesthetic. Sondeflor Shop and OffOn Clothing, both on Etsy, have many bohemian smock styles in custom sizes.

My shoes are also from Etsy, and I’ve gotten quite a few questions about them on Instagram! They’re from a shop called Bonjour Store, who are actually based in Jaipur. Having worn similar pairs in my childhood, I was expecting them to be the hard leather kind that you need to break in. I was pleasantly surprised when these sandals turned out to be really, really soft with padded insoles. I love how they look like clogs but feel so different on my feet. I also got a pair of strappy sandals from Bonjour Store that I’ll planning to style next, and I’m thinking of stocking up on some more styles from them over the summer!

My top is from ASOS, way back in 2011. I’ve styled it more than once on the blog and worn it many more times than that, so it exceeded #30wears a long time ago. The vintage purse has been on everyday rotation in my wardrobe since I got it. The pear pin that isn’t quite visible in photos is still a pretty little addition IRL and is salvaged from a dress I bought in 2007. I’ve linked to similar products on the widget below so you can re-create this look for yourself if you like!

All photos by Taha and Lokesh at Shutter Diaries. 

Get the look 

External image

Follow me

IG | Twitter | FB | Pinterest

10

The True Cost Movie

Directed by Andrew Morgan and Executive Produced by Livia Firth, Lucy Siegle and others, The True Cost is a fashion documentary about the human and environmental impact of fast fashion and the clothing industry in general.

Tom Ford attended the London Premiere and said “I was truly moved by it and I think anyone who isn’t moved by it would be callous. It is brilliant.”

Have you seen the film yet and what did you think?

Big Fashion Turn Offs
  • Adult Sizing/Child-Briding/Sexualizing Children

I don’t care what context you have chosen to justify your campaigns but in a country where issues like child marriages are grave, you don’t trivialize or perpetuate them. The campaign below caused such bad taste that the brand had to remove group photos from their social media pages because it was hurting their business (was proper proud).

  • Whitewashing/Brown facing

Just a visual comparison of the same model in two different fashion campaigns. Not to mention brands that hire foreign white models to sell traditional clothing or designers that go as far as brown facing a white passing model because… standard beauty ideals and commercial market woos.

  • Using underprivileged people as props

Unless you’re economically/socially empowering them, using them as props to make your campaigns look provocative or interesting is.. vomitrocious. I’m all for making social statements and pushing boundaries but doing that tastefully will only make your campaign more powerful. 

  • Overpricing Everyday Wear

An everyday fabric like lawn that wears out in a few months has become an out of reach luxury because it has been hijacked by high end designers and Birkin wearing socialites. No matter how much you adorn that lawn jora with embellishments, it will remain a lawn jora. 

4

I love seeing people enjoying my creations!

It makes the long hours of hard work so worth it!

Crazy crochet poncho’s are the new black ;)

https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ALittleChaos