I bought a new pair of boots on the weekend. I love them - they are black, fit exactly right, and have a cool chunky exposed zip. Classic with an edge. Perfect with jeans, perfect with winter dresses. You can spend decades looking for the perfect boot, so I am really really really glad I found it.
And the best part is that the boots were made here in Australia. I can't remember the last time I saw shoes made here in Oz, but these were. Admittedly they were on the pricey side, but every time I thought about getting a cheaper pair I kept having images flash in my head of the poor people buried alive in the clothing factory collapse in Bangladesh. Sure, the other boots might have saved me a few dollars, but at a morally reprehensible cost to somebody else. And that I just couldn't do.
So I paid the big bucks, and walked out of the shop happy that I had chosen a pair of boots that were made in decent conditions by well paid workers right here at home. Plus these boots can be resoled and reheeled for years to come - if I look after them properly, I should have them for a long long time. My well made, well looked after boots will be the very antithesis of fast fashion. And even though I have pretty much blown my entire clothing budget for the year on them, I think I've made a good choice.
I know I touched on the subject of fast fashion only a few weeks ago, but this latest tragedy has made me realise once again how far removed we are, as consumers, from the production conditions of so many of the things we buy. There's a great opinion piece in today's Age newspaper, and one of the points made really struck a cord with me. The author states:
How much are my modern first-world luxuries dependent upon the dark satanic mills of a Dickensian global south? And if I would never buy battery hen eggs then why on earth would I buy clothes made in similar conditions?
Exactly. So that's my goal from now on - if I can't be making my own clothes (or those of Tyger) I shall be doing my utmost to make sure that the clothes I do buy are from companies whose workers get fair conditions and proper pay. I might not have a bulging wardrobe, but at least I won't have a guilty one.