30 Wears: Camilla Trotter
My #30Wears garment is a red Topshop skirt. But it could have been almost anything in my wardrobe. The only pieces I haven't worn 30 times are things my mum buys me. I don't want to offend her so I sneak them to a charity shop without telling her. I'd never bought anything from a charity shop until today. I went in looking for something for a fancy dress event and I was amazed at how many great things they had.
I think clothing can affect your mood. I have a black suede skirt which I wear with a black polo neck if I'm going to an important meeting. And if I wear heels I feel more important. I like the stature it gives you, I notice that men I work with will do a double take, surprised you are at eye level. But I don't choose heels because of that.
The only advantage of Fast Fashion is that it might encourage more creativity in clothing. Cheaper clothing does allow you to be more adventurous. Maybe something doesn't suit you but at least you've tried it. It's harder to get experimental with clothes if they cost the earth. I bought a choker dress which I was unsure of at first but I will definitely get a lot of wear out of it. If it had cost 100's of pounds I might not have tried it initially.
If I'm going to a special event I might spend a bit more on something. It would make more sense to spend more on everyday items that you get more wear out of but somehow it seems annoying to spend money on something ordinary. I am more likely to spend extra on something that feels special.
I know some women feel pressure not to be seen in the same thing twice, but I don't have any qualms about that. I have a beautiful green floor length dress that I love so I jump at any chance to wear it. If I want something really glamorous and unusual I've rented a dress for an evening. A friend of mine always rents hats for wedding or the races, which seems very sensible. I can't imagine myself ever spending lots of money on a hat.
I would love to see cost breakdowns for clothes: the cloth cost £XXX, the labour cost £XXX etc. I think if you understand how the money is distributed it might make people think twice. Particularly for more expensive garments. Why am I paying more for something from Reiss? Is it actually any better? If so, how?
I think there will always be some consumers who are happier to bury their heads in the sand. Its hard to feel like an individual can make a difference to a global industry. But if we expect a living wage why don't we feel others do too? And its not just about wages but about conditions. Recently there was an article about Ikea drivers living in their lorries because they weren't paid enough to stay in a hotel on overnight journeys. Ikea said they were "deeply saddened" but it was up to the individual contractors to fix and talks ended with no resolution. If companies of that size and status continue to set this lack of responsibility as standard then nothing will change.