Thursday, May 16, 2013

Heavy Heart

I kind of live under a rock. My husband and I don't really watch, read, partake in the news. I'm an ignorant citizen, and I'm more okay with that than I should be. However, the news of the recent garment factory collapse in Bangladesh made its way into my blog feed, and it's hit me...hard. To know that over 1,100 people have died because people like me insist on having cheap clothes is just too much for me.

I've read Overdressed, and to be honest, I completely disregarded what she had said just days after finishing it. I love clothes. I love to shop. I love a bargain. I've never even purchased anything from some of the popular blogger stores like J Crew or Madewell because I have never wanted to pay too much for my clothes. As a result, my closets are stuffed with cheap and low quality goods that were probably made by people similar to those who were killed. This is weighing on me really heavily.

So, what should I do?

I've been doing some research (because that's what librarians do, yo), and a lot of the companies that offer ethically made clothing (i.e., clothes produced in humane conditions where the producers are paid more than minimum wages), but to be frank, it's expensive. If I have to choose between buying groceries or a skirt, groceries are going to win every single time. Plus, I've never been a big fan of buying online without being able to try things on, and a lot of these places are only online or don't have stores in my area.

I also looked at companies that produce items in the United States. I did find one company that has a store relatively close to me. Unfortunately, once I looked on their website (the clearance section of course since the regularly priced merchandise was still to expensive for me), I found a couple of shirts that expressed messages that I, a conservative Christian from the South, didn't agree with, so I decided that I didn't want to give that company my money.

So, again, what should I do?

For now, I'm turning to thrifting. I've always loved Goodwill and other thrift stores in my area, and I think this is a great opportunity for me to really go out and explore what my region has to offer. I'm also going to work on cutting down the blogs I read, particularly those who seem to embrace fast fashion and really looking at how others have tackled this issue. Three blogs that I can think of off the top of my head that are great examples of this are October Rebel, Thrifted Shift (who is unfortunately on a blogging break), and Thrift Eye (who just wrote a great post about this topic). I think you can still find great, trendy pieces from thrifting. I also think this will be a great chance for me to refine my style since I won't be able to just pick up anything from whatever store I want to. Oh, and there's the whole money saving aspect, which will definitely help my little family!

This is just the start for me, and there are still a lot of other things I need to change, but I'd like to think that this is putting me on the right path to help making a difference. Anyone have any tips or similar experiences? I'd love to hear them!


  1. Love this! I'm not sure how your thrift stores look like, but we have tons of Goodwills on the West Coast full of deadstock from Target. The prices are a little bit cheaper than their sale rack - so people flock to these things! I use this as an opportunity to shop the rest of the store uninterrupted. I find tons of department store and specialty brands this way!! When I have to buy new, I typically go to Nordstrom Rack and see if they have anything good on final sale. Saying this, and because I have a blog, I think people may be under the false impression that I shop all the time. I haven't bought a new thing for my wardrobe in almost two months! And since this garment factory tragedy, it's made me re-evaluate all of my consumption. I'm trying to give it meaning and purpose now!

    1. One of our Goodwills used to have a pretty good selection of Target deadstock, but they relocated, and I haven't gotten a chance to visit it yet. I love the technique of going elsewhere in the store! I was wondering about where people shop new, especially on a budget. I've been trying to find new workout gear, and things outside of sports stores/Walmart/Target/etc are expensive! I may have to try the Nordstrom Rack; thanks for the tip! I do shop more than I should, and I think reading other blogs makes me want to shop more often, but I truly have more than enough clothes to get me through the next few years! Thanks again for tackling this issue; I look forward to seeing what else you have to say about it.