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Monday, 14 September 2009

People often ask me what I wear and if it's really all ethical. Confession: it's not. Or at least: not yet for maybe 5% of my wardrobe. Since I started working in ethical fashion five years ago, I promised myself to only buy green. So today I had a close look at my wardrobe to share what I actually wear.

Starting off in ethical fashion was not as difficult for me as it seemed at the time. Living in Amsterdam, one of my favorite brands was Gsus, a funky Dutch label that turned out to be a member of the Fair Wear Foundation. My long time preference for vintage and second hand clothing was another great start on the road to sustainability. In these early days your next best chance to find eco was in natural clothing stores. Combining organic cotton treasures I found there with huge African bracelets and vintage belts saved me from strange looks from my mainstream fashionista friends.

The next pillar in my career as an ethical fashion shopper was when I started the YOI store. In those years we organized a lot of fashion events and some samples that we could not sell in the store after use, found their way to my wardrobe. This was the time I started wearing Loomstate denim miniskirts, American Apparel boy briefs, Terra Plana boots and Kuyichi jeans. For special occasions I wore Linda Loudermilk and Junky Styling in which I really felt Miss Eco.

While travelling the world, I love to buy from local brands like Aratex in Paraguay which has affordable organic cotton basics. I combine these with pieces like my bamboo minidress, coconut bracelet or oversized natural colored cotton bag (all ModaFusion). Although acquiring eco shoes is still difficult, my Melissa's and Osklen fish skin do a great job. Last month in Chicago I bought Nike running sneakers and an H&M top without guilt, knowing that both are catching up on CSR practices. My latest favorite is the Loyale shirt I bought in the city's Pivot boutique. And while discovering great finds in faraway places is fun, mainstream brands make things easy back home. I now buy bamboo and organic cotton underwear at local supermarkets Migros and COOP. So I don't need to feel naked anymore wearing outfits that are not 100% me.

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