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Ethical Womens clothing and China should I/shouldn't I?

Ok, here goes...  I'm a 55 year old northern mother of one grown up daughter.  I'm not a size 0 (10-12) and I'm not 6' tall (5'3").  I try to 'dress' for my body shape/size, I like to look up-to-date but don't necessarily follow fashion trends.  I have a dog and I work from home, pretty average.   I'm in the fortunate position (after working hard for the past forty years) that I can, to a certain degree, pick and choose where I buy my clothes from, although I still have my limits - I'm northern after all.   I'm trying to shop for any new clothes I buy sensibly and sustainably by buying less and by checking where companies are based (for tax reasons), where the clothes are made ( for humanitarian reasons) and where the cloth is sourced (for sustainability reasons) etcetera.  This is a minefield.  I've thought about boycotting Chinese made clothing (Re: Uighur detention camps, just for starters) however, when I look deeper into a company's ethical policies (take Seasalt, just for an example) they make everything sound hunky-dory and I'm left feeling as though I might even be putting decent people out of a job if I (and others of course, not just me) stop buying items just because they are made in China.  Similarly Toa.st, my favourite brand, (not UK owned anymore but UK based), have a very concise ethical policy which specifically mentions China, but does this excuse me? I'd rather buy British and boost our own economy but affordable British brands are rarely made in the UK (Community Clothing I know of, although what I like is usually out of stock) and even if they are, the fabrics are of course usually sourced from other countries, and they tend to cater for the young/slim/tall.  Can anyone shed any sensible light on the situation and give me some practical advice. I'm so confused and guilt-ridden I could be thread-bare by Christmas 2025!

Thank you in advance.

Replies

  • Reed_RichardsReed_Richards Forumite
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    By all accounts, some of the garment manufacturers in Leicester were using illegal and unethical work practises.  A side-effect of this was to aid the propagation of COVID-19 in Leicester.  So you cannot even be confident of a British brand selling clothes that are British-made.
    Reed
  • silverwhistlesilverwhistle Forumite
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    Made in Leicester would be British-made, but not necessarily ethically!
    I'm a bit older than you but not interested in clothes, although some of my BHS knickers definitely need replacing! I appreciate that sourcing ethically will increase costs but all the suppliers seem very niche and expensive so I just wander along to M&S and buy tops made with ethically sourced cotton and occasionally expensive Italian fabric (probably made in a Chinese operated sweatshop in Prato!).
    I wish you luck!
  • lisaluv1993lisaluv1993 Forumite
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    I try to buy from charity shops where I can. The clothes might not be ethically made but they can be ethically reused. I also pay a fraction of the price a lot of people pay for clothes that are usually fine.
  • SolarchaserSolarchaser Forumite
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    By all accounts, some of the garment manufacturers in Leicester were using illegal and unethical work practises.  A side-effect of this was to aid the propagation of COVID-19 in Leicester.  So you cannot even be confident of a British brand selling clothes that are British-made.
    Just heard today that they found by lineage that the sweat shops were not transmission points for covid, but it was house to house was the big spreader in Leicester.

    Now you couldn't possibly have known this at the start of this month, and were simply commenting on what was reported, so not posting this as a you were wrong type thing,  I just thought it was worth mentioning. 

    I have no comments on the clothes, other than I hate shopping
    West central Scotland
    4kw sse since 2014 and 6.6kw wsw / ene split since 2019
    24kwh leaf and Lux 3600 with 17kwh useable storage
  • I try to buy from charity shops where I can. The clothes might not be ethically made but they can be ethically reused. I also pay a fraction of the price a lot of people pay for clothes that are usually fine.
    I find that what Lisa said is spot on. It's difficult to trace things back and find them to fit with our ethics 100% but you can find some gems in charity shops that are worth reusing. It's about doing what you can imo. 
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