Before I started on working on the BIG SHWOP events I really didn’t think much about where my clothes came from or how they were made. But in the last year or so since getting stuck into this sustainable fashion buzz I am all of a sudden taking a much greater interest in the fine print on clothing labels and learning a whole lot of really interesting stuff about the clothing industry.
It’s almost become an obsession when out shopping to check where everything is made and what its made from – it’s sometimes pretty tiresome (and shop assistants will eventually give you the evil eye if you keep doing it to every single item) but man its a great feeling when you finally find something that says ‘made in NZ’ or ‘100 % organic fair trade cotton’ (Yussssssss!)
Admitedly it’s pretty darn impossible to never buy anything produced in a child labour sweatshop or that involves the use of harmful pesticides, and as we all know opp shopping is a FANTASTIC way to get cool stuff while re-using and recycling, but if you really have a hankering to buy something new then here’s a few little nuggets of info I’ve picked up in my clothes -label ferreting over the last few months:
* Did you know Lee Denim jeans bought in NZ stores are made in Australia? So they are nowhere near as bad as most other labels that come courtesy of teenage girls in China working 20 hours a day for a few dollars a week…
* Country Road label clothing is also made in Australia, and while I was convinced for years it was only for boring middle aged house wives and nana’s I was very wrong!! They actually have some really cool stuff, including some beautiful jackets, tops and cool accessories.
* NZ designers have some darn good sales at the end of each season. It’s great to support our local fashion and lots of it is not only designed here but made here too. I recently saw a Kate Sylvester sale with up to %70 off! So keep your eyes out, they usually have things on sale about half way through each season i.e June sale for Winter stock etc.
*Untouched World is out of this world. This is a beautiful NZ label that specialises in NZ organic fashion, they try to use all natural materials and are the first fashion company in the world to be recognised by the United Nations for Sustainability. I recently checked out their Wellington store on Featherston Street, and while yes, its pretty pricey, they have some amazing items so gorgeous I had to leave the store before I attached myself to the silk / merino mini dress and started beating my fists on the ground til someone bought it for me.
* Go Gisborne the home of Columbine pantyhose! Support the sunny surf province and buy Columbine if you’re looking for panythose or tights. Plus they have an awesome range of sassy footless coloured tights. Found in most Farmers stores. Yay!
So keep those peepers open when hitting the stores for new items. And spread the word if you comes across any other great tidbits of green shopping info!