30 Wears: Veronika Aicher
My #30wears garment is a cotton kimono-style shrug I bought 3 years ago. I saw it in the window and was just really drawn to the print. Normally I tend to stick to plainer items but I really loved the colours and pattern. Maybe that's why I've worn it so much, because it's a little different to the rest of my wardrobe. I'd describe my usual style as quite simple and classic, not that many prints.
I find the pieces that I get the most wear out of are the ones I find when I'm not looking. Something will catch my eye in a window display or I'll be drawn to something specific rather than going out with the intention of shopping. And if I am looking for something specific I tend to do it online because you can compare lots of places at once.
I'm not consciously influenced by trends or celebrities. I read a report about how reading women's magazines can begin to make you feel depressed within 30 seconds of flicking through them. We begin to feel like we're wearing the wrong thing, we're not pretty enough, our hair isn't shiny enough, we aren't achieving enough etc. And once they had removed all the adverts the magazines were half the size. It just made me rethink spending money on those kinds of things, so I don't think I've ever bought something because it's "on trend".
I always look at the label to see where something's made. I have a few pieces made in the US and Spain and when I see that I feel a bit hopeful that the way they were made was under good conditions. But I don't necessarily avoid clothes made in Bangladesh or China because I don't want to assume all the factories are as bad as Rana Plaza for example. And boycotts aren't going to help garment workers in those countries. Sometimes you see reports where the conditions look nice, but maybe that's not true. It's very hard to know what to believe. Maybe the factories in the UK are worse.
I'd love to see a website that laid out all the information clearly. The idea of trying to research every part of every supply chain on my own feels pretty overwhelming. Where do you begin?
When I'm done with an item of clothing I always take it to a charity shop, usually Fara. I'll put it aside and when I've filled a bag with things I'll take them down. I like Fara because they will email you to let you know how much money your clothes have made them. I like knowing that I haven't just given them rubbish things, but pieces that someone else will love and get wear out of. When I moved house I had a big clear out and they told me that it had helped make £80 on GiftAid alone which was a lovely feeling.