Increasingly as I get older I find myself thinking about and questioning the provenance of the things which I consume.
Where has my food come from? Have the animals been treated well?
Are my cosmetics natural and paraben free?
I’ve even switched to a new brand of loo roll made from sustainable bamboo (my bum is happy too!).
But when it comes to my clothes and accessories….?
As a jeweller myself, I really value handmade over mass-produced high-street jewellery which may not have been made ethically (see video here to find out more). I use eco-silver and collected finds or vintage stones in my designs, and have been very lucky to have been given some beautiful stones by my Grandma which I’ve re-worked into pieces in my collection such as these amber earrings.
But I know I could be doing more to ensure that every single stone, finding, chain or tool I use has come from ethical sources.
And truth be told, when it comes to the clothes I wear on a day-to-day basis, I’m really not that sure where they come from at all.
Pretty regularly we hear of appalling conditions or horrific accidents in foreign sweat-shops. As well as ruthless brands paying peanuts to the makers for throw-away fashion. I know I SHOULD do something, but in reality, I still pop to the supermarket when I need a cheap t-shirt or pair of flip flops.
Ignorance is bliss, as they say, and it’s easier to turn the other cheek.
I’ve long been passionate about the power of enterprise to empower people around the world, ever since working for the charity TREE AID who work with communities in Africa. I know how important it is that we value the skills of makers and creators, and that we pay them a fair wage.
So, as of now, I am making a pledge to do better. To shop more responsibly, and to stop and ask ‘Who Made My Clothes’ before buying my next piece of fashion.
I’m also making a pledge to use ethically sourced, recycled, reclaimed or eco-materials in every piece of Bristol Papillon jewellery.
I know this will be a work in progress, and so I’ll keep you updated along the way.
I’ve also recently learnt about two organisations who are doing amazing work in this field, both of whom I would like to work with, in order to bring my own brand in line with their principles.
The Fashion Revolution ~ find out more here ~ who started the campaign Who Made My Clothes?
The Ethical Fashion Forum ~ find out more here ~
And next time I go out shopping, instead of just buying something without thinking, or simply wondering how they treat their suppliers then handing over my cash, I’m going to do the research first, and act accordingly.
Are you with me?