Tuesday 4 August 2020

How do I know if I'm buying responsibly sourced clothing...

...but first a Leicester UK Lockdown update:
We have just been released from an extra month's-worth of lockdown. We can now go to non-essential shops. We can travel beyond the City boundary but we're not allowed to invite members of other households into our house or garden. Feels a bit never-ending!

I need clothes:
It's been over six months since I went clothes shopping. I'm blowed if I know how to buy clothes online. I need to try things on. Last week I bought two summer nighties from a well known high-end store (initials JL). I selected a blue one and a silver grey one, same size, same style. The grey one fits perfectly. The blue one is tight, so tight that I'm going to have to cut open the sleeves and try to remember dressmaking skills that my Grandma and Great Aunt tried to teach to me long ago.

Made in China:
I can't understand how these nighties can be so different. I chose this store because I thought I could rely on good quality merchandise. On the label it says 'Made in China'. I would have preferred it to say 'St Michael - made in Corah's of Leicester' (suppliers for Marks and Spencers in the days when M&S clothes were top quality). I decided to check the labels on my other clothes. I have items made in India, Turkey, Bangladesh, Cambodia. It's time the UK became a manufacturing country again.

Made in Leicester:
Leicester once 'clothed the world' and there are still textile companies here but over the last few months the media has been buzzing with news of a number of companies paying their workers less than the minimum wage, have less than sanitary working conditions and are putting pressure on those workers to continue working even with positive diagnoses of Covid-19. There's also a concern that a large amount of our cotton is being produced in China under similarly appalling working conditions. I'm left scratching my head as to what clothes I should be buying.

Where can I buy clothes?
So if anybody reading this knows of outlets supplying clothes from firms where cloth is responsibly sourced and workers are treated with respect and consideration then please let me know about them because right now I'm exasperated by it all.