|This skirt was thrifted, and it's one of my favorites.|
However, my friend Beki and I started really getting into researching and understanding where our store bought clothing was coming from. It's not pretty. I did a huge three part series about it here, here and here if your interested. Here are is a great link to get you started if you want to do more research: free2work is a site dedicated to making if easier for the consumer to find out where a product is from and how ethical it is. They use a grading system I find very helpful. Suffice it to say that if a store can make a profit on a three dollar t-shirt or a $10 sundress someone somewhere is being exploited. The first thing I thought when I started feeling convicted about this was "I can't afford to buy clothing from nice places." but then I started wondering if that was a legitimate excuse. How would God respond if we were having tea and I told him why I had to keep shopping at Forever21? I mean do I really need 5 camisoles in various colors? Truth is I buy way too much and half of what I own I never wear.
So, Beki and I took a tentative plunge test into the thrift shop/consignment shop world. Know what? it wasn't bad. I'm not stupid I know that people don't have time to dig through racks and racks of stuff at GoodWill but there are some really nice consignment shops. The kind where I can buy Ann Taylor clothes but actually afford them! Beki has had amazing luck buying designer labels from individuals on Ebay and such.
So we are starting a challenge. I'm calling it the "2nd time challenge" for six months we are not going to buy any new clothing for ourselves. We will shop only at second hand stores or sew the things we want ourselves or buy them from individual designers who sell their own hand made stuff (check out etsy for all things handmade). There is so much waste in this country and so much excess; technically I've bought several tops that were brand new, still had the tags, but I got them from a charity shop so the profits went back into the community, back to local businesses and not to evil clothing companies who are exploiting women and children.
There are a few exceptions to the second hand rule: Undergarments such as panties, socks and bras and athletic shoes. Though I'll still try and be as responsible with my purchases as possible (I hear Fruit of Loom and New Balance have good labor practices). The dollar is powerful so I want to make my dollar count for something. We'll see how it goes I would love it if you joined us. Even if you just try it out for a month and see how it changes the way you look at clothing and how much you consume. At least educate yourself to know what stores and companies are doing the right thing and which aren't. H&M and Target both have fairly good records, Forever21 and Wal-mart do not. Things made in small asian countries tend to be worse avoid clothing that says it was made in Cambodia and other places like that.
But wouldn't it be fun to do this together? I'll be posting occasional outfit posts telling you wear I've gotten different things and Beki and I will be highlighting cool second hand shops in our area. The more of us that do it the more style ideas we're going to get and the more cool stores we're going to discover.
Check out Beki's blog here and Susie's Blog here. They should both have posts up in the same vein in the next few weeks.
And because I'm so excited about this new challenge I'm doing a give-away! Jill from my very Favorite store Jill's Addictions has donated a $25 gift certificate for her store. Even if you live further away it's worth a trip just to visit her shop (plus you could see me too). Check her face book page out here. Her shop is the perfect combination of vintage and it is probably the best styled shop I've been in. If you want to stop and shop you'll find her at 339 South Grand St. Marshall MI. All you have to do to enter is answer this question by Friday August 5th by noon: What is the most stupid or craziest thing you have ever purchased? I'll randomly draw names from the people who commented and post the winner this coming weekend.