7: Clothes, Day One

And the winner is….

Outfit A

This won the poll hands down, the rest were a draw – except the denim maxi pinafore, on your own there Jayber. So with 2 items left in the bank, I’ll see what I feel like tomorrow.
Obviously this week will be a bit different to the experience of restricted food – I think it will only be towards the end of the week that I will really begin to get fed up. At least in food week I could make up ever increasing ways to serve eggs and bacon, where as this week there is no room for manouvre. Having said that, this morning I was both marvelling at how easy it was to get ready and grieving my bare ears. I fought hard to get those ears pierced – my sister had to wait until she was 14, but all my friends were getting theirs done when we turned 12 and it felt like the great injustice of our time. So I rallied the troops and got everyone I knew to sign a petition which I presented to my parents. The people had spoken, what else could they do but cave. I spent the next few years wearing the most outlandish earrings I could find, (some homemade from Fimo, yikes). We recently unearthed a small sample of them from the attic and they are truly shocking – perhaps my parents let me out in them as a way of getting their own back….
Anyway, clothes. This week could go in a few different directions. For all my chat about the things I love about clothes and dressing, there is definitely a shadow side to my relationship with them. Vanity, competitiveness, social pressure and greed can all rear their ugly head in this area of my life. Clothes is also another topic where beyond the till, behind the label, a great deal of injustice and abuse can hide. So, for each of my items I’ll be looking into where it really came from and how ethical the company is who sold it to me.
This will come up again in ‘7’, but I confess I am a compulsive bargain hunter. I deeply resent paying full price for anything and at this time of year I can sniff out a 70% sale at 50 paces.( I was recently seen doing daily laps of our town’s one-way system, simply to be first through the door when Benetton finally switched their Sale sign from 50 to 70%). Most of my clothes come from Gap, Benetton, H&M or Zara because their sales are so good. 
Labour behind the label are a charity who campaign for the rights of garment workers all over the world. They challenge clothing companies to provide better working conditions and a living wage for their workers and, through their campaign Let’s Clean Up Fashion, ask companies to submit evidence to support their ‘ethical’ claims. They score each company and I was gutted to find that Gap, who made my skinny jeans (and half my wardrobe), scored ONE out a possible five. Here’s what they have to say,
‘ For several years GAP was one of the companies leading the way in innovative, thoughtful programmes to address serious workers’ rights issues, including wages. It has now decided to revert to getting suppliers to ‘self regulate’ and ‘avoid audit fatigue.’ Its move away from active engagement with ethical issues back towards compliance is bad news for workers, who are unlikely to see any kind of gains from such an approach.’
Pretty grim. I thought Gap was one of the good guys. ‘7’ is all about putting your money where your mouth is so I have e-mailed Gap to register my disappointment and and give them some feedback. If you’re interested, the e-mail is here.

5 thoughts on “7: Clothes, Day One

  1. please share gap’s response as i too and i think i need to check out that website. Thanks for doing the hard work and sharing, especially this week, as burp cloths no doubt count as accessories and I need them with a baby with a cold and croup and i am not sure I have time to keep 7 items of clothes clean for an entire week, at present a day seems enough….

  2. I misunderstood the challenge this week as I thought you wouldn’t be able to buy any more than seven items of clothing in the week and that would be easy…but i see what you mean now

  3. Aah, Fimo – those were the days! Sorry I didn’t pay any attention to what you were wearing earlier, too engrossed in the Muppets!

    Gutted about Gap too, 2 of my face jeans are Gap ones

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