In a world of fast fashion, we are increasingly asking ourselves just where exactly do our clothes come from.
We are all familiar with the term 'fast-fashion'.
Throwaway, fleeting, cheap. Clothing that has no value beyond one night out, or worse, one outfit post. We are continually bombarded with adverts for cheap clothing brands. Dresses for £5, shoes for £10 all flashing before our eyes on beautiful models looking cool to the beat of pounding music.
Fast fashion has never been easier to get a hold of. And let go of again just as quickly.
However, the current political landscape has made many of us think long and hard about just how our decisions affect the world in which we live. With the proliferation of right wing governments telling people to think of themselves only and fuck everyone else, many people are realising that actually the world is not an insular place and that we are a global community and therefore must all benefit equally, not just those people in the upper echelons of society.
It can be hard for ordinary, working people to make a huge difference but how we choose to buy fashion can help. Even if we swap out a percentage of the clothes we buy to indie labels made locally, then that all mounts up.
Personally, I try to never send anything to landfill. So I try and always shop indie or designer first. If I'm broke, I head to ASOS but by swapping out 60% of my wardrobe to higher end and indie brands I find myself not throwing away anything at all. Anything I no longer wear is now of a high enough quality that it can be passed down to someone else. I literally can't remember the last item I threw away.
If there is, for example, a style of shoes I really want, I try and save up for the designer versions rather than opt for the high street rip offs. They are of a much higher quality and so last for many, many years.
As ordinary people, try is all we can really do.
Luckily, we do benefit from choice. There are lots of labels popping up who are ethical or the very least made locally.
Kolt is a label making a difference.
They design beautiful, high quality, one of a kind, handmade Guatemalan leather products, while creating fairly paid jobs for those in the small village of Pastores.
The brand is the brainchild of Stefanie Richmond, who is from Antigua, and she is dedicated to training the local women of Pastores to make Kolt products therefore improving their skill-set so they are able support their families. As well as training and providing jobs in the Pastores, Kolt also works with other artisans and weavers around different regions of Guatemala providing them with increased revenue.
I am a sucker for beading and these intricately beaded pieces are timeless. My favourite is the beaded collar but the bags are also amazing. You'd have those forever. I'm off to investigate what the deal is with customs charges from Guatemala because that beaded collar has my name written all over it.