Fair Trade/Ethical clothes


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Sunny Sheffield
Any idea where I could get decent fair trade/ethical clothes? There seems to be no shortage of place selling fair trade Guatamalan fishing smocks & the like - but I just want decent t shirts, jeans, shirts etc that dont make me look like a cross between a kids tv presenter and a social worker...

Are any of the high st stores any beterless bad than the rest?

Unfortunately one of the few stores that makes stuff that is areasonable fit on me is Gap - and they obviously torture 3rd world babies - but then again virtually all the high st stores get stuff made up in sweatshops.

Any suggestions would be good.
OK fashion victim -

Why don't you try Oxfam? One shirt for £3.99 will buy a hoe or pay for schooling for a kid or help build a well etc. for people in the third world.
PLUS, for you, you will have something that no-one else is wearing (anymore) at the moment...

Pret a Porter

PS. Or make your own....
Have a look at peopletree.co.uk - they have some nice clothes and not too pricey...
You can also buy t-shirts from ethicalthreads.co.uk, eponasport.com or equop.com. Another good one is greenfibres.com, but they are quite pricey. Better still just search for ethical clothing on google - you get heaps of links. There are loads of palces out there - you just need to look :Wink3:
Thanks for the replies.

Well Mejin I wanst quite after a fair trade Armani - just simple plain clothes and stuff to wear to work and I refer you to my previous statement of not wanting to look like a social worker!

I've had quite alook around - and it very limited. Theres loads of places doing fair trade /ethical coffeee/chocolate etc but very few doing clothes. Most people tend not too think too much about clothe s- but loads of stuff (and yes even - and particularly, all the hippy ethnic stuff) gets knocked up in sweat shops...

I'll try a few links - but any other advice re: high st shops that may not be too bad - would be welcome as well.
Yes, no-one else is in a similar dilemma of course...

well the high street is full of pretty revolting stuff in my opinion these days - plus, with mass production there is a lot of the same stuff around...

as far as ethics are concerned, some shops are definately worse than others - GAP, as you say, are known offenders...you need to find out where the products are made or outsourced to have any clue as to production practices...

You could always buy a lot of your clothing at festies - like your (ahem) 'leisure wear'...then you know that your money is only going to hippies...there was a hemp clothing woman at the Glade I had a long chat with and she also wanted to go over to ethically traded hemp from Nepal - fair trade cloth/fabric...

You could get someone to make up your clothes - there are loads of tailors where I live and they're around, and there's NOTHING like a wellcut pair of trousers ("Oh, suit you Sir")

Faeriebee is also right, if you can be bothered to google...

But as far as workclothes are concerned the cheaper the clothing is the more likely it is a sweatshop product - that's why handmade/craftwork stuff is always so expensive - you're paying for someone's time and skill...

OH yeah - there was an interesting article in the paper a few months back where the journo traced a shirt given to a charity shop - when it didn't sell it was shipped to Africa where the rag trade takes it to small markets in places like Mozambique. It was bought by a young woman and the moral of the tale is I guess while the revolution is that far off you might as well buy clothing regularly, donate your old while it is in a very good condition and then the poorest people who buy it last will get something nice - good quality recycling.
At the end of the day, the rag trade should be one of the cleanest trades on the planet - nearly everyone likes good clothes and it should be sustainable too - nature grows the seed etc...

Sorry not to have been much help

Mind the GAP
Thanks for the replies - cannot promise I'll start getting clothes made up at my local taylors or buying hippy juggler style clothes from festivals - but will check out some of the websites.
Any sources you come across would be great. I too want affordable work clothes and also clothes for the kids which tend to be extortionate whether free trade, hippie, etc. I will try to do some searches and post sites here. A permanent recommended list of links would be helpful to many. Doing searches is fine but we need to know the sites are ok.

Dance on
Yes, must admit that I am really wary about buying ANYTHING online, let alone clothes - which I ahve perused for recently....looking for something which I might have to purchase from a store abroad is a bit scary and I don't like giving my details to someone I can't see - but maybe big names in the ethical trading area might be more reliable.
Incidentally Jack, my aunt is a fashion designer, all her life she has been her own boss, and while she started off designing for women in the 70s she moved into kids clothing for about 15 years (when she had her own kids), she doesn't do kids anymore but I could email her and ask her who she would recommend - she's a bit hippyish really and I know she has just come back from a yoga holiday in Greece :Wink3:

I think my point about diy or getting someone to make you things is that it is art and it is good to support people who do these things - whole cultures are embedded within the warp and weft of this everyday living :smoke: and if it wasn't for knitting patterns we wouldn't have computer programs


Yours in brothel creepers

PS. "I wear black on the outside because black is how I feel on the inside" - The Smiths
Yes I would be very interested. I dont my paying for decent stuff, e.g. the 15 quid kids Glastonbury ethical t-shirt has shrunk to a two year olds size, is misshapen and had it. 3 months wear then.

Dance on
...on a similar note - does anyone know good places to get vegetarian shoes?

(this is not in case they have to be eaten during a particularly sparse free party, just so they're not made from dead cow)