co.label founder, My Seline, and I had a very interesting conversation regarding the production and our consumption of clothes. And though there was no real resolution to the issues we discussed, it brought to light a few facts that ring true for her and for me, maybe they’ll ring true for you too. Here’s a synopsis of our little exchange.
The first thing to consider regarding how clothes are produced is that there is no perfect model. A company cannot ethically produce quality and style conscious clothing with 100% locally sourced natural materials that have 0 impact on our environment, made by local craftsmen being paid a fair living wage and turn a profit to stay in business.
Another thing to consider is that when a company is doing their very best to produce their garments ethically, they can’t promote their practices actively without shedding a negative light on their competitors. I’m not talking about the Zara’s or H&M’s here, I’m talking about other small fashion companies doing what they need to do to survive in a competitive market.
There is also the fact that when you promote an idea which is backed by certain ideals, someone will always find a problem with how you’re doing it. “So you’re producing your garments ethically... BUT WHY NOT LOCALLY???”
It’s becoming increasingly trendy to care about the environment, to care about how clothes are produced but here is a problem I’m faced with every day: having grown up in the 80’s and 90’s (in America I might add), I’ve been programmed to buy and dispose, buy and dispose, rinse and repeat. So how do we break the cycle?
Through education about how the fast fashion industry is affecting our planet. Through providing different and better options to the consumer. Through progress, not perfection. It’s about slowly and firmly standing on your beliefs.
In conclusion, I ask you this: when you buy a new item of clothing, when does it lose its newness in your mind? Does it have anything to do with the brand you’re buying from? What items of clothing do you hold onto? Now think about your first child’s blouse being passed down to your second child. About the memories and love stored in that garment. Ethically made quality clothes, being reused by your kids, and then someone else’s... wouldn’t that make an ideal world?
Please give co.label a follow on Instagram and check out her amazing, ethically made (in Italy) garments.