My entire life I have gotten up in the morning and worn whatever my heart desired. When I was 2 that meant a dress sewn by my grandma, matching bow, and patten leather shoes. Today in my late 20's that outfit sometimes comes back on rotation. And well, when your an adult and you go to a client meeting rocking a ballet skirt and a red crocheted scarf, people begin to ask questions. The main one being; "how do you choose your outfits Jen?" So I thought about this question, and how my beliefs have changed since I began Noble Carriage. And well, they haven't. Noble Carriage has simply trained me to find out who made my clothes and where they came from. I still have 6 reasons why I care and yes, I still believe in dress up.
#1. I want to feel fantastic. Whether it means putting on a rouge red blazer for a client presentation or studded stilettos for a night out with the ladies, clothing identified with certain personas gives me confidence and improves how well I rock life. Knowing where my clothing comes from, and the story it has to tell, make me happy to have read my labels.
#2. I want to make you smile. Bundles of studies have proven that what you wear to work or life influences how people view you. I believe I can use this to my advantage. I always consider the smile factor of each outfit I put together.
#3. I don't want cancer or weird rashes. I have sensitive skin. I used to wonder why clothing off the rack caused me to break out in a rash? The fact of the matter, is that their are chemicals on non-organic clothing. They're even often carcinogenic (Carcinogenic = potentially leads to cancer). Skin is our body's largest organ and it instinctively absorbs whatever we put on it- clothing chemicals included. My solution, buy organic or buy vintage clothing. Organic is free of toxic chemicals and vintage clothing has had all of the chemicals washed off of them. Rashes be gone!
#4. I believe slavery is wrong. Who doesn't? Well as much as we hate to admit it there are 27 to 30 million slaves in the world today. There are people in countries such as Uzbekistan, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and India who are working against their will to pick cotton for that 8 dollar shirt at large retailers. Do you think made In the USA or Organic are too expensive? Well, I ask, what is the REAL price of that 8 dollar shirt?
#5. I don't want my kids to live in waste and pollution. It takes decades for your clothing to decompose in a landfill. The average American throws away 68 pounds of clothing per year. Fast fashion is making it easy for people to run to Forever 21 for the latest trends and toss them when they have gone out of style. Where do your clothes go afterwards? Do you donate them? Well that is an entirely different sad story.
#6. I work hard for my money and therefore think through every purchase. As a designer,I've always cared what brands I buy. Now, with a gained knowledge for organic and sustainable fashion, I always check labels. I now find it much easier to make my purchasing decisions. When I purchase something, I feel powerful. Our thoughtful purchasing decisions directly impact our future. Now, I get excited about the brands I invest in and have kissed buyers remorse goodbye.
I've alway cared what I wear, but mindful articles like the one below by Shannon Whitehead, sustainability guru have helped to educate me on how and why to care. I've used her article to develop some of my view points listed above. Check it out to learn more...