Written by Grace Johnson, Business Advisor at Ethical Trading Initiative
What Do My Clothes Say About Me?
Fashion has never been something I’ve felt particularly in tune with. Despite being a millennial I’ve always opted for simple dresses, intimidated by jeans with rips, fake fur and Doc Martens. However, I recognise that the clothes I wear tell the world a story about me.
I like to imagine that my simple dresses tell you that I’m feminine, not too edgy, approachable. I know that my clothes can change the way the people interact with me and can change they the way I interact with them. Whether it’s a floaty skirt in which I unconsciously lift the fabric to feel it swirl in the wind, or a jumpsuit that makes me feel daring or a huge jumper that encourages me to nap, the clothes I wear affect how I feel and respond to others.
If I accept that clothes influence how I feel and how I am perceived, that they tell the world a story, then I want that story to be a true reflection of who I am. So as well as my floaty skirt telling you I’m living my best summers day fantasy I also want it to reflect who I am in other ways.
The choices I make with my clothing can tell you that I’m doing my best to be a considerate person. I’m aware of the impacts of the clothing I buy – the workers that made my clothes were probably paid low wages (so low they struggle to always have enough to eat), probably worked much longer hours than me (10+ hours a day) and the clothing I wear probably has a negative impact on the environment.
This doesn’t mean I never buy clothes, it just means I do my best to think about when I do. I’m a big fan of charity shopping but I try to avoid shops which are known to have poor standards. I always think “do I actually want this?” before I buy it; sometimes the answer is yes and sometimes it’s no. Either way I’ve thought about the impact my clothing has and it’s helped inform my decision.
So when I swirl in my skirt or feel rather daring in my jumpsuit I can do so knowing that it does reflect who I am, both on the surface and underneath.