Slow Fashion Journey: January

The first month of my slow fashion journey is up! I wish I had a record of everything I bought last year just as a comparison, but even just from what I see here, it is significantly less.

Total items: 2

Total Spending: about $135

Now, let’s take a moment to review and reflect, yes?

Item 1: Boots

Rethinking Retail: January | via The Curious Button blog

This one was a purposeful shopping trip – the snow and cold weather was getting intense here in Ontario, so neither my non-waterproof combat boots or high heel boots were cutting it anymore. There was a gap in my wardrobe for tall, winter boots that also looked presentable, for the days I needed to look decent and go somewhere bulky winter boots are not fitting.

Are they ethically made? Though I couldn’t find specific information on this, the label inside says ‘Made in India’, and considering that I bought them from Aldo, I would say no. As much as this upsets me, unfortunately there are no stores I know of in my area that carry ethically-made boots, and I could not bring myself to order them from somewhere online for two reasons:

(1) I probably can not afford to pay for both quality leather boots and shipping, especially with the Canadian dollar being so awful at the moment, and

(2) I also do not want to risk receiving them only to find that the size fits too small or too large, or that they aren’t comfortable, or that they don’t fit well in some other way. Finding boots is difficult for me even without “ethical” barriers because I have quite thin calves and often look like I am swimming in most boots. If anyone knows of ethical/sustainable brands that can help me with this, please do let me know!

With this purchase, I took on a more “capsule wardrobe” approach. I bought them because they fill a gap in my wardrobe, not just for fun. They are real leather, so I know that I can expect them to last a while. While I am no fashion expert, they are not super flashy or trendy, and have a classic shape that will look just as good two years from now. They’re a neutral black, so I can wear them with pretty much anything. Coming in at just under $100, they were also an affordable investment.

Item 2: Concert T-Shirt

2016-01-23 21.35.51

I’ll be entirely honest, this was a completely spontaneous purchase and at no point did ethics or sustainability cross my mind. BUT, hear me out.

I went to see Oh Wonder in concert, and yes was it ever amazing. As a souvenir, I bought a band t-shirt from the merch table. ‘Made in Nicaragua’ did not give me high hopes, but I Googled the company who made the t-shirt anyways (Next Level Apparel), and found this:

via The Curious Button blog

They even have a Social Responsibility page. I was pretty happy to see this. Do we ever really know if this is true and actually happening? Not really. Tons of companies have a page similar to this hidden somewhere on their website, yet so few stand behind it. This is one of the biggest problems within the fashion industry – unless there is radical transparency and a substantial amount of information available to the public, you can never really know.

Regardless, its a basic t-shirt that can be worn with nearly anything and for any casual purpose. The best part is that it looks cool even if you see it and have no idea who Oh Wonder is. Perhaps still not the best thing to buy, but don’t we all have our guilty pleasures?

How was your January? Any ethical purchases you absolutely loved… or mistakes you learned from? Share them with me in the comments below!

Slow Fashion Journey: January | The Curious Button, an ethically conscious lifestyle blog.

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  • I just found you last night and I’m enjoying your archives! I’ve just officially started my journey recently also but have made some small changes over the last 5 years or so, one of which is boots! I used to purchase a pair of $100(ish) leather boots each year thinking they would last and they’d never get me through more than a year of regular wear. I finally bit the bullet and purchased my dream boots from Frye. Best decision ever! I’ve had them 5 years now, they get better with wear, are good enough quality to pay for a new sole when needed (which isn’t even close for me yet and I wear them constantly), they’re made in the US, tanned with natural oils (so I think better environmentally than other tanning methods) and the styles are timeless. They’re an investment, but so worth it because I’d have spent more on throwaways by now. I can’t recommend them enough. Adding you to my feedly and looking forward to learning more together!

  • Elena, this is a great way to start the new year. I always wonder ways to leave less of a carbon footprint, and how to be mindful of my spendings. I know it’s not very easy to buy ethical clothing, especially in Waterloo, which is the bad news. The good news is if you look hard enough, you’re almost always be bound to find something interesting:
    Keep writing, I’m following.

    • Thanks for leaving a link to the Harmony website – I haven’t heard of them before, and will have to check it out! You are right, it may not be the easiest way to shop, but there is always something interesting to be found everywhere 🙂

  • I need to try harder to be a conscious consumer! Maybe we can talk about where would I start! Thanks for your tips!

    • The more I read and learn about it, the more I realize that there are infinite number of ways to change your spending (and other) habits to make more ethical choices. Many more tips coming your way soon!