Saturday, January 23, 2016

a new season of "What I Wore" // pt 1

There is a season for everything, even taking time away from things. I havent done any What I Wore posts in ages -- although Ive been doing a little nod to it for over a year now on Instagram (#reflectionsessions) -- but Ive posted (irregularly) on unboxing my Stitch Fixes instead.
Like many other twenty-something women, I have acquired a substantial wardrobe. After hauling my whole wardrobe back and forth across the country in 2013 (#newjerseyadventure) I purged out tons of items I wasnt ever wearing. It was great. My style evolved in that season and I acquired new items that fit it over the past few years. Something has been eating at me though. Ive been aware for sometime that many brands I buy are a compromise of my morals and ethics. To put it in a very uncomfortable, but accurate, light, Ive been as hypocritical as the men who stand for justice and protection of women trapped in human trafficking and yet participate in porn. Ive supported human trafficking by purchasing from companies that "employ" slaves in sweatshops. And I know the arguements of the struggle: "But I dont have the budget to purchase Fair Trade items" and "Its really hard to find ethically sourced and supplied clothes that are my style", etc. Yet again I have to compare this to the equally compromising lifestyle of sexual immorality and say that men often have "justifying" arguments for their use of porn too. Lets face the ugly facts: its wrong. No "ifs", "ands" or "buts". More information is in the video below. Pardon the YouTuber's language. I tip my hat to her for this awareness spreading and exposure.

I have this dream of having a simple and satisfying wardrobe made up entirely of fair trade items -- everything from intimates and shoes, to clothes and sleepwear, to jewelry and makeup. It seems like a big undertaking, it feels impractical and possibly even ridiculous, but I really believe that its worth it. Because this isnt about me sacrificing my style or wardrobe, its about walking the walk and not just talking the talk about truly valuing human life. [For now lets just focus on this. Because, truth be told, this same undertaking should sift through every single item in my lifestyle and household -- from furniture and cutlery, to books and music, to cleaners and tools, to food and beverages, to paper products and pens. Everything we use comes from somewhere; was made somewhere, by someone, and with materials produced somehow. We support justice or injustice with EVERY purchase we ever make.]
Is it the "right time" for this? Well, if by that you mean "do you have the budget for all new clothes", we will answer that in time. If by it you mean "have you had enough of playing your part in injustice and are you finally ready to go another way?", the answer is a yes -- bearing in mind that it isnt fully "yes" until that "yes" really does affect every purchase in my world.

I dont know a lot but I know enough to start with. My style is evolving once again -- its very normal for this to happen again and again over time -- and it is a fitting transition season. So this is the goal: 1. I want to purge out my wardrobe afresh. 2. I want to have clearly in mind the looks that I am going for and a practical plan of what items to acquire in order to accomplish it. 3. I want to create a sort of capsule wardrobe, bearing in mind that Im aiming for a life of travel and prefer to travel light, and focus on quality over quantity when making my purchases.

Before we get to that lets just take a look at whats currently in my closet and where I want to take it.
KEY: bold are not fair trade, italic are fair trade, normal are unknown.
Intimates - bras (target, victoria's secret, naja, urban outfitters), undies (target, victoria's secret, naja), socks and tights (target) // Jammies (target, aerie) // Work out gear (target, old navy) // Swim suits (target, victoria's secret) // Sweaters/Sweat Shirts (goodwill, sevenly, target, walk in love) // Tees (sevenly, forever 21) // Tanks (sevenly, forever 21, target) // Pants (target, old navy) // Shorts (target, forever 21) // Skirts (target, forever 21) // Dresses (target, old navy, Etsy, victoria secret, Francesca's, Anthro, forever 21) // Jackets (target, StitchFix, ModCloth, Eddie Bauer) // Shoes (target, TOMS) // Hats (target) // Headbands (target, Francesca's) // Scarves (target, H&M) // Bags (StitchFix, target/FEED, No41, walmart)
Here are some visual compare and contrast examples I put together of non-fair trade vs fair trade items. Thanks to Google for making it easy to find all these images. Youll probably note like I did that the cheaper products actually look cheap in comparison. Although these are all brands Ive had a kind of affection for (*cough*, Target), it makes me wonder even more why Ive been so quick to put my money down on their things in the past.

Before we move on Id also like to note that I am not scrapping every item I already own from non-fair trade companies. More on this in another post. Along with fair trade Ill cover my reasoning on also buying handmade, American made, or second-hand. My views may change on them but Ill share where Im at on them presently in another post.

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