"But it's so expensive" she whinged at me as I tried again to explain to my dear friend that yes, ethical fashion is expensive, but it's worth it.
It's probably one of the biggest road blocks for the ethical fashion cause - our 21st century bred mentality that everything should happen now and I should be able to get it at a steal. The problem with this consumer mentality is that we are so great at showing you how amazing you will look in this dress or top, but conveniently hide the more sinister reality that we are damaging our environment and each other.
Yes, to shop ethical fashion will cost you a bit more than going to the department store down the street, but let me put it to you this way: every time you spend a dollar, you cast a vote.
For example, there's a Coles (supermarket) on my street. I don't particularly like Coles, I don't find the environment engaging, nor do they have the selection I like in fresh produce, I actually prefer Woolworths (supermarket). But my closest Woolworths is a 10 minute drive away. So instead of getting in my car, I walk down the street, why? Because I value convenience over variety. When I choose to spend my money at Coles I'm casting a vote to say convenience is more important than variety.
And it's the same with fashion. When I purchase from a fast fashion store I'm saying that I'm ok not caring about whether or not someone was exploited in the process of making my garment. I'm ok that I don't know if someone was paid a Living Wage or was provided Fair Trade conditions. I'm ok that this cotton is not GMO free and that I'm ok that this will probably end up in landfill after I have worn it once. I cast my vote every time I spend a dollar.
So whilst ethical fashion is going to cost you more, we need to stop and think about what we are voting for when we shop- what are you voting for?
Cast your vote by starting here.