Monday, 14 October 2013

Fair Trade Fashionista

I am not a big fan of the journalist, Liz Jones.
I will leave it at that.
However, there was one story she wrote recently that broke my heart.
It was about a girl called "Dolly" who Liz met in 2010 when the child was just 13.
A child who worked 12 hours a night, seven nights a week sewing sequins on garments in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
You might remember Dhaka in the news.
It was a garment factory in Dhaka,  like the one Dolly where Dolly worked that collapsed in April killing 1,133 people and injuring 1,700 others.
It is a place where clothes are made for High Street shops like Matalan, Gap, Primark and Mango.
Yet it is also the country where another UK brand, People Tree, also employs local people to make clothes for western women.
But this brand provides free creches, maternity leave and a chance for local people to stay in their villages.
It was also the company that allowed Dolly to return to the village where her parents were born.

Liz also worked with the people at People Tree to help get Dolly back into school.
It is also the brand that has persuaded me to end my fast fashion habit and from this day forward ensure, wherever possible, that the garments I buy have been made in a place where the workers are treated as human beings.

Yes me, who has raved about £5 jeans from Tesco and bargain basement items from Primark.
I am not going to throw out all my old items but I will ensure that any new garments I buy will make me think twice about their provenance.

And today it starts here with my new dress from People Tree.
The company has lots of information on their website about how you can get involved including the  Clean Clothes Campaign
If you do only one thing today, try and sign the campaign to support garment workers across the world earn a living wage.

Thanks for reading.

I wore:
Boots - Clarks
Dress - People Tree


  1. I've stopped following bloggers who still insist on buying from Primark, Matalan, H&M & the rest because their greed at wanting to own a piece of clothing despite the human cost appals me. Well done, that dress is fab. x

    1. Thanks Vix. I am just amazed and ashamed it has taken me so long to realise. I can hhardly believe I am saying this but I am very grateful to Liz Jones.

  2. I like the dress. I don't know who Liz Jones is but I do support the change you are making with your purchasing power. It is harder to avoid those sweat shop produced items than one might think. Even higher end clothing is sometimes produced in poor conditions. I'm going to go check the link you provided.


  3. Well, I am no fan of Liz Jones either, and frankly I doubt that all of her retail purchases are entirely ethical, but if her article has made you rethink your shopping habits, then that's great. I am constantly horrified by the delight with which people snap up super cheap clothes from retailers such as those you mention without a thought for the conditions in which they are produced. I agree it can be difficult to know where to shop to be sure of making an ethical choice, but People Tree is obviously a great place to start. And the dress is lovely. xxx

  4. First of all your dress is marvelous and i think that it's a big step you are taking into making conscious purchases.

  5. I think that is so great that you are resolving to think more about where your clothes are from and how they are made. It's horrible to think about someone living an awful life so we can get a tee shirt for $5 that we will wear once then get rid of.

    and your new dress is really adorable. I hope you have it and love it for years and years to come!
    Chic on the Cheap

  6. I often wonder about who made the item of clothing I'm wearing and how much they were paid for it. However, I'm not really sure that clothes we pay more for guarantee better working and paying conditions for the workers (unless the brand can vouch for that, like People Tree, perhaps). Otherwise just more money goes into the pockets of the people on top, I guess, and the retailers.
    I'm glad that there are brands who do their best to help the disadvantaged, and I'm glad that there are people who care. Thank you.

  7. I agree with your move, and the dress is lovely on you too.
    I follow several fashion/style/clothes blogs and I think there is a temptation among the bloggers to always be showing us something new, and different. I can totally understand this but we can fight against needless consumerism. I think we can still be stylish and ethical.