Shopping with a conscience

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I recently read a recommendation for the above book ‘Over dressed’ by Elizabeth L. Cline and found it in my local library.  It is an excellent read and one that reinforced my own thoughts about our consumer society.  I do try and shop conscientiously, I do look for where an item has been made to ascertain the possible working conditions in which it has been produced and I will seek out items made in the UK.  I’m delighted that our new kitchen units were all produced in the UK as was the new bedroom furniture we bought last year, with the recent economic difficulties we have to support our British businesses   I have tried to be proactive on my stance, writing to my favourite shops for their policies on working practices and fair wages and commenting on their products. For example,  I recently wrote to Cath Kidston a brand which sells itself as quintessentially English yet all its clothing was made in China.  As much as I love their prints and products I cannot comfortably buy their clothes now, such a shame but I’m happy to live to my principles.  This attitude to clothing means that I am making fewer purchases and my wardrobe is more streamlined.  In a society which has become more throwaway and we only wear on average 20% of our wardrobes I like to think I am making more sensible choices.

At times it can be difficult to buy goods I’m happy with, especially clothes and consequently I have become more interested in vintage for a variety of reasons, quality, materials, recycling etc..  I’m yet to find a hidden clothing gem but did find this beautiful, British made  vintage clutch bag in mint condition in a charity shop for £3.  I used it for the first time at a Christmas party on Friday and it made me feel fabulous.  I had gone for a 60s inspired look, fab eye make up, a black tunic embellished with a little sparkle and the fantastic bag.

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Next year my challenge is to include more vintage and hopefully start to make my own simple clothing. I made a skirt in Home Ec when I was 12, have I the same skills 30 years later?

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