#Month 4: Quitting fast fashion - a 12 month challenge
I have started walking around London a lot. My "commute" takes me along the length of Hyde Park and every morning I get to see the magnificent mist rising, sun (sometimes) cascading through the trees which are glowing bright orange, red and yellow as the leaves start to fall. I sometimes panic about being cold and not having enough warm clothes. I experience the bone rattling chill that feels as though a dementor has flown past I might never be warm again. I have asked for a coat for my main christmas present and picked one from the children's section which is basically a duvet with a hood, and also VAT free and washable.
In the evenings, I walk past cosy sitting rooms and wine bars. I feel invisible as I melt into the darkness wrapped up in my own world filled with the music or podcast filling my earphones. When I get home, I run a bath, warm up and light some candles. I increasingly need time to think about things and the best ideas emerge during these walks.
This is a strange analogy and it might just be me... if the seasons were a day, autumn would be twilight in summer, when the light fades and we stop to take a breath after a sunny day packed full of relentless fun. It's that bittersweet moment when you realise that the best day of your life is coming to an end and even though it's getting chilly and you can hardly see without turning the lights on, you don't want to go inside and put some socks on and admit the day is over - but when you do, its really cosy and you snuggle up until your cheeks start to glow with the warmth.
So what does that have to do with quitting fast fashion? Well, on these walks, I get to thinking and I often wonder whether the people who make my clothes have any idea what happens to them once they have been shipped to the shops and then bought and worn by me. I wonder whether they care about fashion or whether they enjoyed making them. I wonder if the shops know who makes the clothes they sell and whether they are paying them fair wages. I wonder whether I can do anything to make the industry fairer so that vulnerable people don't get used just because they will accept lower wages or leave school to work full time while still children. I look at labels and see "made in Turkey", "made in India" etc. and feel oddly linked to the pair of hands that sewed my hems.
I'm not buying new clothes which is a very passive form of protest so, this month, I will be stepping up to support something positive. The first is to buy some underwear from a talented friend who handmakes the most beautiful lingerie sets found at https://isadoreintimates.com/. Thank you Isa! Isadore Intimates.
The second is to buy some christmas presents from a fantastic sustainable clothes maker called Tom Cridland. His business creates clothes that last - even going as far as to produce a "30 year Sweatshirt" with a 30 year guarantee. He backs his jumpers with 3 decades of free mending if they break. http://www.tomcridland.com/