My husband and I were on our way to my daughter’s graduation. He was dressed in his only pair of dress slacks made of heavy wool, which were better suited for a cold winter day then the beautiful spring day that we were having. He commented that wool no matter the weight, is good in any season. He also reminded me that the pants were made in the USA, which somehow negated any inappropriateness of the clothing for the weather. I laughed and joked that my clothes must also be USA made because they’re so old I got them before clothes were manufactured outside of the country. (I actually looked on the labels when I got home and found the top was made in El Salvador, but couldn’t read the pants label because it was faded from repeated washings. I suspect they too were constructed outside of the United States.)
In the past I didn’t give much thought to the making of my clothes. Humanitarian and ecological issues weren’t entirely on my radar. That changed after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013. Since that event more information about the fashion industry, specifically problems with fast fashion, has come to the surface. If you’re not aware of the atrocities that occur in the fashion industry, I highly recommend you watch the documentary The True Cost. It might change how you shop for clothing. It did for me.
If you’ve been following along here for very long you know I’m mostly buying nothing new this year, and clothing is no exception. However, when it came time to replace a worn out bra and underwear I decided I’d buy those items new. My change in philosophy to “buy less, buy better” had me move away from my old standards of cheap underwear and bras and look elsewhere. I found an impressive company, Brook There, that makes everything in Maine using organic cotton. They have an ethics statement that speaks to my values. The quality of construction, the beautiful fit and design, and the gorgeous materials will have me back for more.
If you’re interested in buying brands that are sustainably and ethically manufactured, I’ve found these blogs to be helpful:
If you have any additional sources or thoughts on the topic, I’d love to hear them in the comments.