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The Autumn Clothing Season: Get Involved…

September 14, 2011

This Autumn we’re looking for contributions on the theme of clothing.

We’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions and stories about the world of clothing and fashion. For instance:

  • What is your favourite ethical clothing brand / purchase and why?
  • Is charity shopping the way forward? Any tips for this?
  • If we dress ‘simply’ do we end up enjoying our bodies and our clothes less? Could there be a way to enjoy them more?
  • Is it ever acceptable to wear something that might have been made in a sweat shop?
  • ‘Do not worry about what you wear’ – how do you do this?
  • When was the last time you heard gold jewellery denounced in church (see 1 Tim 2:9-10)? Have we missed something, or have times changed?

You can comment on this piece, of course, but you can also submit a new blog post (email or something for the Breathe monthly email (to subscribe: Watch out, too, for new Breathe contributors James, Micah, Annie and Matt, as well Phil, Jeremy and I.


7 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2011 1:40 pm

    My best friend just bought her wedding dress from Oxfam! (Who knew they have an entire bridal section on their website?) I know some people struggle with ‘fair trade options’ sometimes being quite expensive, but doing it this way her dress ended up much less than most would pay for a wedding dress anyway and all the proceeds go to Oxfam. Win Win

    • David Wright permalink
      September 15, 2011 5:36 pm

      My daughter did that 9 years ago – and then gave it back to Oxfam. I think that makes Win, Win, Win!

  2. Eileen Padmore permalink
    September 14, 2011 5:12 pm

    As someone who LOVES clothes and design I find this whole area difficult. I am currently knitting a jumper to my own design from yarn that was not cheap – but that would cost 4 – 6 times as much to purchase on the high street. I might wear it myself or I might give it away if I’m confident enough in the end product. The creativity involved feels good, therapeutic, and I can actually knit whilst I read / watch TV / chat to others – so multi-tasking.

    In my retirement years I am trying to go for stuff that is good quality but that will not date. It is possible to get this at sale price or from the charity shops. However, I also retain a love of funky clothing more suitable to a MUCH younger body!

    I have often thought that nuns & monks are lucky in that they make the decision what to wear once and for all and everyone knows what this stands for. The challenge is to grow the inner glow of godliness to match!

    Perhaps my answer is to produce stuff and give it away. I have done a fair amount of this in the past. Sometimes it prompts gratitude but it has been known to result in embarrassment!

    I can’t stand the thought that as Christians its OK to be frumpy and not be concerned about how we present ourselves. Perhaps its different for each of us?

    Sorry folks. More questions than answers…………?

  3. September 15, 2011 5:31 pm

    As a mum with 3 children I am finding myself shopping more at charity shops – not just to save money but because I do not think it is right to see perfectly acceptable clothes thrown away.

    I have always tried to mix and match to make clothes go further and I also use accessories to give a “fresh look” without having to change the whole wardrobe. Perhpas this is a half way solution!

    There was an article in the Metro this week on ethical clothing and about where an dhow our clothes are manufactured… shocking….

    I know I need to be more aware of what I am in effect ENDORSING by choosing to spend my money in certain places… Several years ago I bought a book called Lift the label on thi ssubject – I didn’t dare read it at the time because I wasn’t sure I was ready to change my practices…

    We live in a global society and I think I cannot put my head in the sand anymore… Who is my neighbour? The maker of my cheap t shirt in India.

  4. September 18, 2011 5:15 pm

    It shouldn’t be this difficult to get right! Second hand is OK but doesn’t solve the problem of where the item was originally sourced, neither does it ensure a fair deal for the original workers. I would like to buy fairly traded clothes for all the family but it’s difficult to find clothes to fit – – my boys are tall, as is my husband and it’s pretty difficult to find fair trade stuff in larger sizes – men’s come in large/x large (too small for our family) if you are lucky, and boys over seven are difficult to find – and I’m no sylph either, although I can usually manage in a ladies large size…(ssssh). As for school uniforms – what a nightmare…supermarkets t-shirts are 3 for a fiver – no chance of them being ethical – but where is the alternative. I don’t mind paying more but only if it makes a difference – don’t want it to be just more money in the share holders pocket. Any solutions gratefully recieved.

    I am mainly trying not to buy stuff – I have plenty of clothes already but there will come a point when the children grow or stuff wears out and we need replacements. Unless the boys only need t-shirts and jeans, with the possibility of a hoody if we have a good day – we are stuffed…really not prepared to pay designer prices for their fair trade line…I don’t want designer gear…I want to be fair. I’ll be looking out for the traidcraft clothes and maybe internet options, if supermarkets have fairtrade lines I try to buy from them (although I am a bit suspicious of these as they seem too cheap). I think our family are at the stage where we are just doing our best – but our best might not be very good.

  5. September 22, 2011 6:27 am

    Dear Miriam, have you considered having a local person make up clothing for you? The cloth might not be fair trade but at least the labour making it up will be. It might encourage someone to start a small business of their own

    • Miriam permalink
      October 13, 2011 1:14 pm

      good idea, Joanna – in fact I could do it myself if I wasn’t so busy/lazy…I’ll have a think – wonder if the boys wear stuff I have made – I could tell them it’s designer??

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