You know what I love? Shopping without feeling guilty. A little splurge that leaves feeling me good - without feeling bad only a few hours later.
There are already enough reasons to feel guilty after a shopping spree. I'm sure I'm not the only one who sometimes comes home from a shopping trip with regretful purchases, thoughts of how else I could have spent that time and a bank balance that certainly wouldn't make a millionaire jealous. Even when I head out with a specific retail mission in mind and remind myself of how to make good shopping decisions, I rarely return home entirely guilt-free.
So if there's something that can at least relieve a little bit of that guilt, I'm all ears, which is why I've been trying to shop more consciously.
Let's face it, I'm never going to boast an entirely ethical wardrobe (is that even possible?). As much as I'd love to be that person, I know I'm just not; doing so would be a huge lifestyle choice and a commitment I'm not willing to make right now. And like my decision to not become a vegetarian, I'm cool with that.
But that doesn't mean I don't want to try a little harder to make the right decisions.
Fortunately, it's only getting easier to do so.
With the internet making it easier than ever to make informed purchasing decisions, more and more of us are demanding to know where and how our clothes and other possessions are made - and rightly so. And I hope it's a real change rather than just a passing trend.
So why does it still not feel cool?
Is ethical fashion cool yet?
Eco fashion, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion... whichever name you prefer to call it by, it's likely that you don't associate it with innovation and on-trend design. But the bad rep that conscious fashion has received for being unaffordable and undesirable might not have been so fair after all.
Although I don't really go out of my way to discover new ethical brands and designers (I really wish I did!), there are a handful I love and have supported over the years: People Tree, Stella McCartney, and Faustine Steinmetz (since this season of London Fashion Week), to name just a few of the better known ones.
And, even though I'm not always actively looking for sustainable brands, I absolutely love discovering them. Fortunately, they seem to only be getting more innovative and design-focused than ever.
My most recent discovery is Mafia Bags, who create truly beautiful backpacks, tote bags and accessories out of recycled sails. Did you know sails could be recycled? I sure didn't, but isn't it amazing? Best of all, you know that anything you buy is completely unique.
I love how brands like Mafia, with their innovative thinking and creative design processes, are really challenging the prescribed stereotypes of sustainable fashion. Far from taking a back seat in the world of 'fashion', these are the brands that I think are really going to shake up and shape up the industry in the coming years. And what could be cooler than that?
3 British Ethical Fashion Brands I Love
And my top picks - that prove ethical fashion really isn't boring!
People Tree are one of the first brands I ever worked with as a blogger, and probably my first real introduction to ethical fashion. Founder Safia is so passionate about what she does and has grown the brand to an incredible place, with the designs getting better and better every season.
Stella has been showing the world that high fashion doesn't have to come at a high ethical price since she graduated in the mid-nineties.
Fact: One of the best moments of 2015 - and even my entire life - was wearing a Stella McCartney top to Dame Zandra Rhodes's apartment on the eve of my 24th birthday. (How are you going to beat that, 25th?!)
Chinti and ParkerAnother label that's slightly out of my price range right now but super adorable nonetheless, Chinti and Parker is another British label showing that high end fashion can be both cute and ethical.
What are your thoughts on ethical fashion? Do you think it gets an unfair rep?