The moment you start paying attention to the labels inside your clothes

Our co-founder Fanny asked her mother to write an article for us: this article is about hand-me-downs and additional borders on the hems of trousers, over a promise made, that ended up as a wardrobe full of clothes (with an uncountable amount of way too long trousers).

Hems with additional fabric with colourful flowers or even worse with borders with fringes, this is what my mother used to sew on the hem of my trousers because I grew too fast.

Holes in socks were stuffed until we couldn’t fit into the shoes any more. 

A cardigan worn by my brother had to fit me when it became too small for him, even if the collar scratched behind my ears. 

Oh, how I hated it. And I promised myself that one day my children should not have to suffer like this later.

Of course, my parents didn’t mean any harm, clothing was simply not so affordable in those days and therefore more precious than today. 

I don’t even know when it changed… at some point, socks could suddenly be bought in packs of 5 at the price you pay for the darning yarn.

So without getting into financial difficulties, I later showered my daughter with clothes. Also, for myself, I have bought over the years several trousers, which were way too long (for fear of the borders!) and I never wore them. I simply preferred to buy new ones.

I never asked myself the question of where all the clothes were coming from, as it was just such an easy thing to buy more and always something new. (And also how many fun shopping days did I have with my daughter while she was growing up).

The clothes in my wardrobe became more and more.

Even during my bi-annual switch of the seasonal clothes from summer to winter and vice versa, I never noticed that a large part was only used twice a year – when I touched them while refolding them and when I moved them out again of my wardrobe.

So far to my wardrobe situation.

And during one of these season switches, I was thinking that I needed some more dresses for every day, that I just simply could wear without thinking too much.

Followed by this, I enthusiastically called my (now grown-up) daughter and told her that I ordered seven pieces from a well-known German multi-brand online shop and didn’t have to send anything back because everything fitted.

I was absolutely sure that my daughter would be happy about it and will already mentally secure the one or other clothing for herself, just like she used to do before. 

And what did she say:

“Oh Mama, this is all FAST FASHION, how can you buy such things?”

(Spoiler: none of these seven “Fast Fashions” actually became part of my favourites and ended up as wardrobe fillers.)

This conversation with my daughter made me open my eyes.

I’ve always thought that as long as I am buying clothes from well-known brands, I’m not doing anything wrong. 

Whether on full price or on discount. I was interested in the name, the material and the washing instructions on the label – why should I pay attention to where the clothes are made, on the label that anyway always said South-East Asian countries like Bangladesh or India?

But now, I understand how essential it is to pay close attention to the indications on the labels and to figure out what the brands are standing for. How do they source the materials and under which circumstances do they produce? What is their contribution to become more sustainable? How transparent are they on their website? (We suggest you also to read the article How to spot Greenwashing“ )

This is a very simple contribution from my side, but in a bigger picture, my decision to avoid child labour and help to stop polluting the environment even more.

Publishers Note: We suggest you to read also the articles “The unglamorous truth about fashion” and “How much does your €10 dress really cost”.

Susanne feels that she has already reached the goal of her life. Nevertheless her motto is: "Always keep moving and do not shy away from change". Taking new paths keeps you young and can be good for yourself and others ... e.g. simply taking the direction of a more conscious and sustainable behaviour.

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