What You Represent and What Your Clothes Say About You

If clothes define who we are; If we choose our clothing to express ourselves; If branding is important to (some of) us…What stops us from creating a story from the clothes we wear? The honest story that is. I was inspired by the post by Larry Fedoruk on “Joe Fresh Fail“. A $10 shirt from Joe Fresh stating “Canada Made” but upon further investigation, you can see “Made in Cambodia”. Can’t say i’m utterly surprised but you would’ve expected better. IMAG8125I recently came back from a trip to the birthplace of Canada’s National Parks – Banff, Alberta. I noticed that their gift shop is filled with clothing branded with their parks logo. Clothing pieces that was actually “Made in Canada”. Although it’s old news, as this was announced last summer, it caught my attention. It may be the first time i’ve seen the proper representation be made with something so grand. The cost is not so easy on the eyes, as the hoodie that I ended up purchasing went into the $80-100 BUT having it “Made in Canada” sold me on the need to have it. The fact that my purchase will help out maintain the parks and our own economy. I have and will continue to proudly wear this hoodie. I can say i’m representing Canada, our beautiful parks, our economy and be proof that we CAN make our own items. It also says – I support those who made this article of clothing and know that they adhered to our labour laws, fair wages and a safe environment. How do I know all this? It’s in the transparency of the company and it’s in the news ie) Toronto Star, July 2014 Post. Research done. Going back to my initial question, what stops us from creating the story behind our clothes? We just don’t know enough about it and i’m sure the majority of us can look to our clothes and say…”my clothing is all made in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia -so what?! It looks nice. It was cheap. It’s (*insert brand name). It makes me feel good.” To these folks – value of clothing is beyond price and aesthetics. It also come down to quality and a brand’s reputation. I’m sure you’ve run into a $3 shirt that had holes after 3 washes and the constant need to spend money to replace it. What if, you found something that helps to someone’s life, has good quality and will last at least 3 years+? Does that not seem like a better thing to flaunt about to others? On the other end, we have people who want to change, to want a better story behind their clothing but struggle to find clothing items that are made from your area; let alone have it be responsibly sourced. You try but there is nothing available in the mall/stores. What can you do? What you can do though is control what and how much you buy. Control where your money goes. Keep searching, keep questioning your choices and create a demand. You have the power to change your story and to share your story with a smile on your face and in your heart. Self representation goes beyond just looks nowadays. We are now entering a time where we have higher standards and hold one another to values/morals – not via any materialistic embodiment.  I have mentioned in my previous posts that I’m not the prime example to be 100% “doing the right thing” but I am trying and i’m continuing this journey forward to make wiser decisions and feel the difference it can make. By no means am I taking anymore steps backward, so onward we go and perhaps you can join in on the journey as well. I want to represent by understanding and knowing where my clothes are made. I like to be proud of what I wear and who I’m helping out. To Ponder On: If you knew the clothes were locally made (and looked decent/supported a good cause), would you not support it? What’s stopping you in the journey in making “better” choices? Photo SourceSelf-taken photos

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