A fashion dilemma, Ka-Ching!

A potential shopping spree in London, a dream come true, right? Well, not so much. Not for me on the high streets anyway.

The more I learn about ethical, sustainable, eco and animal friendly fashion, the more I get it. Reluctantly, yet surprisingly enthusiastically, I tailor my choices around an annoyingly compelling new type of consciousness.

IMG_3435So, as a test to my new resolve, in London I avoided all stores like, and including, Zara, Mango, TopShop, H&M, Primark, Gap and Uniqlo, Forever 21, TK Maxx and Next. (Let’s face it, not especially difficult to do in one’s early 40’s).

However take these multiple stores out the high street equation and it leaves a gaping hole in the retail offering. We’re either addicted or enticed by today’s endless supply of cheap choices.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 10.42.52 AMThat’s a fact researched and confirmed by Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed. Having read about ‘the shockingly high cost of cheap fashion‘ and being especially mindful that it’s these fast-fashion retailers who are some of the culprits behind sourcing cheap production to build, then meet, our demands for disposable wear. The result of this is tragically evident in Bangladesh’s most recent garment factory fire.

Which left me having to look elsewhere.

IMG_3383So I dragged my family to Camden, on what was our wettest day, to find The Third Estate. A store boosting a range of vegan footwear and bags, and ethically sourced and eco-friendly clothing.

It’s simply not my style gig.

Finding goody-goody clothing isn’t enough for me. I don’t want to buy a piece of clothing because it’s cruelty free and mindfully sourced. I still need the piece of craftsmanship to excite me! I must fall in love with it, not because it’s earth-friendly, but because it’s beautiful, and stylish!

We turned our direction towards King’s Road, in search of Ekyog. On a previous posting I’d mentioned that I’d found that this organic cotton-friendly French brand had a London store on King’s Rd. No.186. Not so! Wet through to our feet, we walked in search of it, to no avail. Pity, as this brand is right up my street!

Third and final on my must-see list was a Locoste jacket, which I hoped was water-resistant. At that point I’d only seen in Vogue and was hopeful it would meet any rainy travel needs. Being part of their runway collection it was only sold at their flagship store in Nightsbridge, which meant another zig zag trip through London. (evidentially focused shopping isn’t as convenient as fast fashion).

IMG_2643Regrettably it was 100% cotton, making it desirable but not functional within my wardrobe arsenal.

I’m delighted with my choice of Vivienne Westwood bag though. Found at Selfridges among some other tempting options. It’s becoming more evident, and my reality, that shopping for less is in fact more fulfilling!

BagBeing discerning, focused and more knowledgable about the origins of my essentially vanity-driven choices, has made me a more conscious, and thereby a more positively reluctant, consumer.

So in fact, I’m standing by a decision rather than buying into a dilemma!

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