Do you have a favorite outfit that just makes you feel like you?
Yes! I’d wear this every day if I could, and some weeks I almost do. I reach for black high-waisted jeans, a white shirt, jean jacket, and a few special pieces of jewelry. In this photograph, my jeans + jacket are secondhand, my tank top I’ve had for years and altered twice to make it fit exactly right, and my jewelry is made in the USA by OdetteNY.
How do you approach "fair" in your closet?
I was talking with Jane recently about how making more ethical choices in other areas of my life has slowly led me to fair fashion. Transitioning to making less trash, shopping for locally grown food, and simplifying my home have helped me realize that I have the power to make choices that are fair to others and the planet.
My fair closet is comprised of secondhand purchases, clothing from companies and artists with a commitment to fairly made, items that I’ve made myself, and, currently, lots of older pieces from non-ethical sources as well. I try to focus on buying things that I know I’ll wear to pieces and taking care of them so that they’ll last for a long time.
I sew and knit and my handmade pieces are some of the most loved things in my wardrobe. I made this cowl for a dear friend’s birthday one year, and loved it so much that I bought more of the same yarn and made one for myself, too. It’s cozy, warm, and beautiful, and an example of a time when the vision in my head and the project on my needles matched exactly. When I’ve made something myself, I find I know how to take better care of it and how to re-work it if I’d like to change something about it. And all of the work behind each handmade object reminds me of how important it is to choose fairly made clothing.
Shopping is one of my least favorite ways to spend time, because I’ve become so picky it sometimes feels like I’ll never find what I want. Before I began thinking about buying more ethically made pieces, shopping was faster and easier. Frequenting just a few loved stores (like Madewell) meant I could walk in knowing I’d find what I needed and loved. Now, shopping takes more time – browsing secondhand shops and searching for designers who manufacture their clothing fairly. I don’t shop often but when I have a piece in mind it now takes longer to find. It’s worth it – but not as easy.
Do you have any goals for a next step you'd like to take in your own fair fashion future?
I aspire to have a pretty complete wardrobe to which I add just a handful of special and thoughtfully considered pieces each year. And, I want more of my wardrobe to be handmade by myself and others.
All photos by Celia.
Please don't miss Celia's inspiring blog, Litterless... her lovely Instagram... and my favorite Pinterest inspiration.
Thank you so much, Celia, for being willing to share your story here. I enjoyed hearing about your unique feelings and experience. We have so much to learn from each other on this journey! It's much more fun knowing that we are not alone!