My Ethical Fashion 'Why' [A Guest Post]

Today’s post is written by my friend Taylor, a lover of people. She tells us today how she loves in action through fashion and using her purchasing power. Thank you Taylor for sharing with us today!


New calendar years feel like a burst of beginnings. I always appreciate an annual indulgence in reflection. Searching for spheres of life that need growth and shifts in habits is invigorating to me. That fresh monthly wall calendar to replace the old? Oh yes. Those sacred few days positioned between Christmas and New Year’s reserved for self-examination? Mhmm.

I need them. 

Boy, do I need them. 

[I need Him*.]

There’s something about the process that’s cathartic. It feels fresh and essential. But often in my meager pursuit of bringing kingdom newness and restoration sooner than promised, I find myself failing to give proper homage to the old and already.  As we live in the already - not yet of longings, I regularly fail to contrast the hope of that newness to the value and familiarity of oldness. The oldness that’s steady and reliable. Sometimes that well-acquainted part of life deserves some attention, gratitude, and recognition. After all, no matter how much we sometimes want to wrap up and shelf the past, there’s still wisdom and lesson and goodness to forge the future.

As I commit myself to this, I find myself wanting my outside to image my journey. And for me, that’s what I want my wardrobe and style to represent. I want to steward well in this life as I sojourn onward, I do. I want to steward with purpose, thankfulness, slowness, and graciousness. I also want to celebrate the gifting of makers along the way. The easiest and most natural way for me to do this is through pieces of clothing. It’s a gentle expression of the inward. It always has been.

The genesis of this for me was perhaps a bit unintentional and over-simplistic. Several years ago, a style icon of a friend of mine *hair flip* had worn something new. I complimented the deeply fabulous item, and asked where she had gotten it. I made a mental note of the name, as I’m far too often doing, and later did my research. It was a newer company that I had never heard of, but as I perused their website, I was stunned at how well they informed readers. They highlighted the factories where the garment was made. They told me how much the materials were. They laid out labor costs.

Oh. Should I want to know that? 

I had no followup thoughts. Shockingly no curiosity of the implications.

Yet.

I felt a little uncomfortable, but also somehow directly respected as a consumer. 

Up until that point, while I loved the thrill of thrifting, the bulk of my clothing was from big and common brands, as I would think is the norm here in the United States.

It didn’t all happen at once or even in the same year, but I just started asking myself more questions when I wanted to purchase something. Subtle things like “who made this?” and “where was this made?”.  And the brands I had been buying from weren’t particularly transparent or forthright with that information.

Why? I now really wanted to know.

The more I learned about the fashion industry, the more I wanted for my purchases to be, in a way, purer. By being purposeful about clothing—how it was designed/created/sewn—it felt like a tangible method for me to honor and appreciate the physical fruit of humanity’s giftings. Each and every one of us is so wonderfully crafted and intentionally made with gifts to share with and serve others to reflect the Creator. To be cherished. To be valued. 

This is strikingly beautiful.

And I am on a quest for beauty - a relentless pursuit.

And that’s briefly where this journey started. I’m still on it. I’ll always be on it. But it’s more deliberate than when I started. Progress. It’s the out reflecting the in. 

I know that I want quality things over quantity of things. And while that’s certainly still pending achievement, I’m striving for it. Sometimes it means using what I have when I desire something new. Sometimes it means thrifting ferociously like stakes are high. Sometimes it means saving up for one timeless handmade garment. It looks different for everyone in different seasons. Including me. It’s fluid. The lovely thing about wardrobes is that they can be journey-reflective. I know that I don’t ever want to be satisfied with what I know. I don’t ever want to stop learning. I want to know the truth and love it, appreciating beauty, seeking to minimize waste along the way. 

[In Him, I lack nothing.] 

Nothing.

I want a lot of things, I guess. Including world peace. But honestly, for me, it starts with and is sustained by a contemplative life. Always asking questions, always seeking to make redemptive choices in your own life, in your own way. 

 

 


*For anyone of a different faith background reading this, I want to welcome you by not assuming what you are familiar with - When God is referenced in this story, Taylor is talking about the God of the Bible.

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