I’m having a bit of a crisis.
We’ve just had the shortest day of the year here in New Zealand. The weather this weekend has been particularly horrible, grey and overcast. Everything feels drab. My winter wardrobe just seems so grey and brown. It all feels dull and dreary.
It doesn’t help that a lot of what constitutes my capsule wardrobe is clinging on from my post-pregnancy days. I gave birth to a gorgeous boy a year and a half ago and the ‘uniform’ for most of the following year was jeans/pants, t-shirt, jersey and trainers across the white, blue, black, grey spectrum. A lot of this is still hanging in my wardrobe and it feels like I need something new.
In the past, I would have armed myself with ye old faithful credit card and gone shopping for shiny new things to make me feel better. Usually, instead of buying one great, good quality item I would have tried to squeeze as much as possible within the budgetary limitations (and still probably blown it).
But the new me knows better. A: a splurge on a budget is only short-lived and you usually end up with a whole lot of clothes you’ll never wear. B: It looks shiny and new for a short time and then it’s just drab/shrunken/pilling/itchy. C: I know it’s just a phase.
So yes, I want something shiny and new, but I am staving off the desire to dole out spontaneously and without discernment. I have a few “blank tiles” in my capsule wardrobe (I think I was six items short of the self-inflicted 30 items) so I am taking my time to find the right items. Yesterday I swopped out a torn denim shirt for a second-hand new one, so not exactly new as it’s a replacement but it did satiate my shopping desire a bit.
So you see, being ethical is not always the easiest choice – it requires resolution and a smattering of additional discipline at times. It’s easy to just go and get a bunch of cheap garments that are trendy for this month, but it’s an endless cycle. On the other hand, buying six new items that meet ethics, sustainability plus durability would definitely blow the bank right now. As I said. It ain’t always easy.
I recently read a great piece from a fellow blogger Stylewise dispelling the myth that ethical fashion followers are elitist and need not worry about pesky things such as budgets. It came days after another blogger On the Road to Ethical talked about budgets and wishlists too. What they write totally resonates with me.
Here are my new Kate Sylvesters. This is an iconic, well-established and loved Kiwi brand. I have always avoided it for price and I assumed it wasn’t ethical. But when I read that the brand was Child Labor Free certified, I was intrigued. Now, it turns out they use carbon neutral energy, check sustainability policies of suppliers, produce a lot of the product in New Zealand and use organic cotton and merino. These shoes are leather and unfortunately Kate Sylverster isn’t transparent about where its leather is from, but I felt comfortable with supporting this local brand for the above reasons and because it continues to improve. Plus the style is feminine, intelligent, confident and distinctive. And guess what? They were $100 down from $430!
Now that is a much-needed shiny cherry in a crisis!
(trusty Vogue there too)