Ethical shopping can be really hard work!
Sorry to burst anyones bubble but I can safely say that being a conscious consumer is difficult.
Yes! We do have a plethora of information available and wonderful up-and-coming eco brands but when it comes down to it you can’t just walk to the shops and buy yourself the perfect basic ethical/eco tee. There is some effort involved.
Prior to this challenge and my personal post-challenge commitment to trying shop mindfully I would purchase all my basic tees from Sportsgirl. Probably won’t be getting any style kudos from the fashion mob for admitting to buying my basics from a non-trendy (i.e. not Zara or H&M) high street store. But for years Sportgirl have provided me with fabulous basics that last forever that are cut just how I like them at a really good price. This means I know I can walk straight into Sportsgirl right now and buy the exact basics I want to replenish my closet. Upon further inspection Sportsgirl gets a big tick of approval on the Shop Ethical website, so technically it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if I were to head to the shops and buy the exact basics I know and love.
Alas, as a member of our global economy that dollar spent at Sportsgirl, while technically ethical, does nothing to support the change I wish to see in the world. The movement towards ‘slow fashion’ and mindful consumption. They may have ticked the right boxes as a large manufacturer, but for me a dollar spent is store would be a vote to fast fashion, and the homogenisation of the Australian retail scene. More and more the streets of every Australian town or city are starting to resemble each other. It personally baffled me when working retail sales, why people would come on an interstate holiday and shop at a chain store, you can buy the same thing back home, why pay for the excess luggage? Buy online and have it delivered to your home! So I personally know, as hard as it is to find the perfect alternate basic, that my money is to be spent elsewhere.
So far the winners of my ‘best contender for basics’ shopping research is Vege Threads who tick so many boxes I feel like skipping with glee. They not only do eco friendly dying on organic textiles, they also donate a small percentage of profits to charity, are Australian based, and wait for it…. soon to be manufactured in Australia! Woo Hoo! The cuts they offer are as ethically pleasing to me and should be a good substitute for my prior Sportsgirl addition. My only gripe so far is that they don’t have the right colour grey tee (I am so fussy), so hopefully the November release will sort this problem out for me.
Another option is Bassike who I have long coveted, but feel as though they already have the backing (as a cult basic/organic label) that they well and truly deserve. Supporting smaller labels (with serious eco kudos like Vege Threads) intuitively feels like a better way to spend my hard earned dollar.
Of course after all that I haven’t ruled out the option of coming across the perfect basics while thrifting. For a while there a local op-shop seemed to carry bucket loads of sports girl basics, these were all new with tags so they mush have been dead-stock. In fact this Sportsgirl thrifting is where my addiction to their basics began! Second hand is never to be underestimated, but cannot be relied upon either.
Have you got any suggestions for eco basics? I would love to hear about them below. Especially if they are Australian owned and made.
Ps. No dogs were harmed in the making of this post. Sebastian actually likes being in photos so don’t let his sad face fool you, he willing posed for this one without even so much as a treat offered. If there was a course in photos-bombing he would be the professor!