Sometimes it does seem that the world around us is going to hell in a handcart: our political system is riven with dissent (talking about the UK here), our politicians don’t seem to match up to the standards of the past (ditto) and our environment is ruined by our profligate ways. But, I’d say don’t look at the past as being perfect either as we haven’t got to the stage of riots, yet, (remember Toxteth and Brixton) or massacres (Peterloo) and as for politicians, there’s aways been someone…. Actually, watching some of the debates live on the tv, you realise that not all politicians shout at each other in the House (or their own home #facepalm) instead there are many in Parliament who think deeply about our country and do the best they can. Personally, I think it important not to ‘diss’ politicians all the time as out of this ‘populism rises, and worse.
While this is not one of My Other Blog pieces I’ll say here that I believe that everything has to be regulated including and especially, fashion, because this is the industry that has a larger carbon foot print than international aviation and shipping combined. And here in the UK we apparently buy more new clothes than any other country in Europe.
Here’s something beyond exasperating. In February of this year, MPs sitting on the Environmental Audit Committee published a report Fixing Fashion (that’s MPs doing good work) that recommended, amongst other things, there should be a charge of 1p for each garment sold to better collect and sort discarded clothes rather than have the 300,000 tonnes of clothing that are currently buried or burnt here every year. But Ministers have rejected this. The report also said there should be environmental targets for large fashion retailers. No, said the government, the industry should only be encouraged to take part in a voluntary action plan. Encourage! How? Voluntary! Oh really? This is the industry that is selling clothes in the hundreds of thousands, instantly, online. Yes, it’s not the Primarks and Peacocks that we should be worrying about – at least we can see them on the High Street – it is the instant selling of £1 bikinis by the likes of Missguided, Boohoo and PrettyLittleThings that is the way of the world now, and something to worry about, and regulate. And this is why some of the High Street shops that were at the cutting edge of instant fashion are now struggling. It’s all about, you see on Instagram, you click, you buy.
However, you have to not get too down-hearted at all this consumerism. And you have to start somewhere by making decisions that do make a difference. For example, there are also some lovely young women on Instagram who are dedicated to #notbuyingnew Let’s embrace this. And I can tell you that I really have now, because before I always used to sneak in a few buys that were new and from the High Street. It was mainly T-shirts, both long and short-sleeved, but not anymore, and anyway what fun you can have searching for pre-loved and 2nd-hand, and, as for the bargains…..
When I was at the opening night of the gorgeous Emmaus vintage and 2nd-hand clothing store, someone said that they had a designer coat for sale.
Reader, I thought about this a lot, and last Saturday I went back and….
Look at the cut.
Yes, I am wearing it with white plimsols. I have terrible taste in shoes but they’re comfy! And why do I look so pleased?
Yup, it’s a Vivienne Westwood.
Deep breath, and I did pay that much, but googling it, it could have cost up to 10 times that amount, and at the very least, 5 times that sum, which I can’t really afford, but hey, you cannot take it with you.
But the cut and the detail.
It’s amazing and I shall treasure it for ever.
I kept to the one-in-one-out rule and into the charity shop bag went a coat, and another skirt because I also purchased this beauty.
There’s a green swathe of material at the centre of the back, and it swishes as you walk.
So, I wasn’t particularly frugal but my word, what a great place to shop.
That’s all for now 🙂
With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper
P.S. One of the ideas put forward in the article by Laville (see below) to help the environment is to wash your clothes less often. Actually I bought a pair of jeans in mid-March and haven’t washed them yet – they’re fine!
Gaby Hinsliff, Fast fashion is eating up the planet – and this feeble government enables it. Guardian 18 Jun 2019
Damian Carrington, Ministers reject plans for 1p per garment level to tackle fast fashion. Guardian 18 June 2019
Sandra Laville, The story of a £4 Boohoo dress: cheap clothes at a high cost. The Guardian 22 June 2019
Zoe Wood, How a £1 bikini revealed the changing shape of fast fashion. The Observer 23 June 2019