30 Wears: Izzy Warburg
My #30Wears garment is a tartan skirt, which has probably been worn by 30 people! I got it from my mum who got it from her mum, I think all my cousins have worn it at one time or another. It makes me very aware of the fact that most of my clothes aren't durable enough to survive for more than a few years let alone for another generation. It's a shame because I have a few other things that have been passed down and they are easily the most precious things in my cupboard.
I would say that my shopping habits are influenced by my peers and surroundings. Sometimes I'll see something in Grazia or Stylist and hunt it down. Or more often it will be something a friend or colleague is wearing that I'll think looks great. Especially if it's a colleague who I don't see socially, they'll never know I copied them! But I don't mind having the same things as my friends. I'm not someone who would be embarrassed if I turned up wearing the same thing as someone else.
I think work has been the biggest factor in my shopping habits changing. I work in quite a corporate environment so I need to be smarter than I might usually be and those clothes often cost a bit more. But it's what I wear 5/6 days a week so it's worth it.
I think I might assume "ethical clothing" would involve linen, probably in an unattractive shade of brown. Not things that would be suitable for work. I know it's probably not the case, but if I had to make a snap assumption.
Fabric is a massive factor for me. I have sensitive skin so I tend to avoid cheap cloths. I would much rather pay a bit more for something in a really nice soft material. But you don't always have to spend a huge amount. I always look in charity shops. The other day I struck gold, I went into a charity shop where someone had just dropped off loads of dresses in my size, I got one from Whistles, LK Bennett, and about 3 more, all for around £10 each.
Charity shops are the best untapped resource. Every year on my friend's birthday we all buy a black tie outfit from a charity shop and then put the amount we spent into a pot, usually with an additional tenner. Whoever has the best outfit gets to decide which charity it goes to. So many people buy a new outfit for a birthday party anyway, but this way is so much more fun and creative. And I usually end up keeping whatever I buy for years.
I try to avoid washing clothes too much because it damages them. Washing a nice work dress twice a week would ruin it so I usually air it out and hang it up somewhere. Obviously for gym clothes its different, they go straight in the machine.
If I had two options in front of me, one was ethically sourced but more expensive, the other made in poor conditions but really cheap, I would opt for the more expensive. But I wouldn't spend days seeking out a more sustainable brand.
People are creatures of habit, we've spent years getting used to a brand's cut and style. I would always get trousers from New Look for example, because they fit me best. That's years of trial and error. I'd be less inclined to spend more on a brand I'd never tried. If New Look had its standard collection and then a more sustainable one in the same style I would pay more for the fairer one. I think the H&M conscious collection is a good example of giving people options. I'd like to see more high street brands explore this.