the moral wardrobe: give and take

girly fall outfit secondhand stylefall preppy outfit

I have mixed feelings about featuring this outfit on Style Wise because of the questionable production standards of Urban Outfitters, the company that produces the jeans I’m wearing. After trying on dozens of jeans last fall, I found that BDG high rise seamed jeans had the most comfortable fit. But I wanted to purchase them by a more ethical route than simply picking some up at the store. I kept buying them secondhand on ebay only to find the sizes and inseams available didn’t quite work for me. After about a year of searching, I succumbed to a seasonal sale and bought them in store.

I’ve felt conflicted ever since. On the one hand, as someone noted on my Relevant article a few months ago, purchasing one item from a fast fashion retailer isn’t that big of a deal if you wear the heck out of it; by reducing your overall consumption, you manage to offset the negative impact your purchase made. On the other hand, that doesn’t change the fact that you contributed to the demand for cheap, unethical goods. I don’t know where I stand, really, but I know I’m leaning toward the latter argument at this point.

Ethical choices are bolded below. Retailers taking steps to become more ethical are bolded in gray.

  • Top – thrifted
  • Cardigan – Old Navy
  • Jeans – BDG
  • Loafers – thrifted

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About Leah

Leah Wise is a member of FIRE in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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