Friday, June 8, 2012

Future vintage 8: fashioningchange

Yesterday I ran some errands, and since I was in the neighborhood, I popped into a TJ Maxx store and looked at clothing. I am dismayed and saddened at how little quality is to be found in any—not just TJ Maxx—name-brand newly-made clothing stores.

I was looking at nightgowns. If you dropped any one of these gowns off its hanger at the store, it would make a pile no larger than a serving of mashed potatoes. The dresses in the store are also extremely light, totally unstructured and made of super-thin material. If you are a perfectly proportioned 20-year old, you might look fine in these. Any younger and you might look too sleazy, any older and you run the risk of having some part of your (perfectly normal and fine) figure showing too much. In other words, if a woman would look absolutely great walking down the street naked, she might, just might, look OK in these dresses.

All the items I looked at were made in China or Vietnam. Without further research on the labels, I would not buy these, fearing I was supporting the greedy corporations that work people in sweatshop conditions for the sake of low prices for us, and high profits for the corporation.

That’s my opinion. I feel so sorry that so many people have nowhere to turn now if they want to go try on ethically-made quality clothing. That’s why I started this series Future vintage (search those words for the previous six installments) and why I’m continuing today with the newly-launched fashioningchange.

Fashioningchange is like an online collective of eco-friendly and ethical alternatives to the big brands. I enjoy their feature Wear This, Not That. It’s fun, it shows you some stylish alternatives, and it makes you think. I look forward to exploring this site more, and finding some new items for myself...items qualified to be future vintage!


Louise said...

Wonderful post- I totally agree with all you have said. I've signed up for Fashionchange- and while I don't buy a lot of new clothes (die hard vintage-er here!) my hubby does. I hope that at some point they include a children's section too.

osovictoria said...

Fashionchange looks like a very interesting site, will go check it out. I do know department stores do carry some very nice quality garments, at a bit higher prices sometimes, so does it go back to building a good quality basic wardrobe, vintage aside which definitely has pieces that can fit into building that basic wardrobe. I do believe you did an excellent job on previous posts of covering that topic. And, those great vintage pieces were probably purchased in department store, if not custom made. Also, I think, back in the day Newberry's and Woolworth's garments were also better made quality usually in the USA union made clothing. So, Newberry and Woolworths' were five and dimes, what are today's stores called, discount?

Dina@VintageAdvantage said...

What an interesting post! This is a topic I struggle with all the time. I'd love to buy only quality items that were made with the utmost care to human rights and the environment...but I have a tiny clothing budget! So I end up at Forever 21, Marshalls, Old Navy...and then feel icky about the stuff I've bought. I'll definitely check out fashionchange. Thanks for the tip!

Lizzie - The Vintage Traveler said...

Maggie, thanks so much for this post. I'd not seen the fashion change site, but I'm really enjoying getting familiar with it. I recently read that there was now a fair trade certification for clothing, and it is great finding a site that features fair trade clothing.

Dina@VintageAdvantage said...

I've been enjoying the emails I get from fashioning change, but the prices on some of the items are a little dismaying! Recently there was a pair of cute fabric ballet-slipper type flats, and they were close to $300! Ouch :-/
Still,'s movement in the right direction, I think.
I just put up a blog post about a book I read recently, called "Overdressed: the Shocking Cost of Cheap Fashion" might enjoy checking it out!