5 Ways to Love Your Body Through Ethical Fashion
Posted on August 26 2016
When I first started getting interested in Ethical Fashion, it was out of a desire to make better choices for others - other people, animals, and the environment. But what I didn't realize at the time is that Ethical Fashion was also a better choice for me too.
Every day when we get dressed we are a telling a story about ourselves. This is what my career in Costume Design was built on, telling silent yet powerful stories about characters through what they wear. Our clothing choices give hints at when, where, and who we are. Our own story might be that we are fashionable, modest, a total hipster, or even that we don't care at all about fashion. But whether you're intentionally styling yourself or not, every time we get dressed, this story is being told to everyone we meet.
Beyond just what we are saying to others, we're also telling ourselves stories through our clothing. How can we value our selves if we don't value the things we clothe ourselves in?
If we view clothing as cheap, disposable, and disconnected from those who make it, what are we telling ourselves about the body in those clothing?
We spend all day wearing our stories, so if we want to love our bodies, let's start with wearing stories that make us feel beautiful, connected, and worthy. We can use ethical fashion - fashion made with fair wages, without harming animals, and with consideration for our planet - to tell our body empowering stories about who we are.
YOU ARE WORTH INVESTING IN
This is your one and only body, and it's worth treating that way. It's worth putting in high quality fabrics, organic fabrics, fabrics that are soft and styles that are comfortable. It's worth choosing carefully what you buy, and valuing the things you wear, building long-term loving relationships with your clothing the same way you should with your body. When you invest in special pieces meant to last with the intention of caring for and keeping them, you are telling yourself that your body is special, cared for, and something you plan to keep.
YOU ARE CONNECTED TO OTHERS
With ethical fashion, you are not alone. 80% of global garment workers are women, so when you shop Fair Trade, you are connected to these female makers who are offered safety, fairness, and dignity. You are wearing something that a woman lovingly handmade, that provides her with quality of life and her children with hope for a future. You are connecting with the small businesses - many of whom are female owned - who design and sell these artisan goods. And when you are connected to the people in every step of what you buy and what you wear, you realize you are part of an inclusive community, connected to yourself and others.
YOU ARE LOVED
Every time you choose to wear something that didn't exploit or end the life of an animal, you're telling yourself a love story. Most people agree that we don't want to hurt animals, so when you respect this deeply held, personal value, you are respecting both animal lives and yourself. When you honor your beliefs and values and live by them, you build deep love and trust with yourself, and self love and self trust are the foundation of creating a harmonious relationship with your body and mind.
YOU GET TO CHOOSE
There are many things we don't get to choose about our bodies, but we do get to choose what we put on them. We can choose things that make us feel good - things that empower women, that save animals, that respect our skin through non-toxic textiles - or we can choose otherwise. By making choices about what we put on our bodies that make us feel loved, valued, and respected, we can't help but feel good about the body underneath. When you choose ethical fashion, you are choosing to tell yourself and others a powerful story about who you are.
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL
When you clothe yourself in beautiful stories - stories that allow families to send their children to school, stories of women given dignified work, and stories about sparing animal lives - that beauty becomes a part of your story as well. And while some beauty may only be skin deep, what we put on our skin affects what's under it, so by choosing beautiful stories, you are honoring your inner and outer beauty.
What are your favorite ways to use fashion to love your body?