What Fashion Means to Me: Georgia Bridgett’s View

For me, the way a piece of clothing is cut, the shape it provides for a particular person, the array of colours we have to choose from, all work together to form a piece that will suit certain people and not others, or will be preferred by some and not others; that I find absolutely fascinating. The reason many of us love fashion is because it is a form of expression, it is empowering. It makes us feel good. I am fascinated with the way designers like Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen take basic pieces like the t-shirt and put their creative energy into how it fits and falls. We all love a
beautiful design but we want it to complement different body types and skin tones.

 

My love for personal style led me to start my blog. I wanted to use it as a way of exploring my interests. Since I moved to Liverpool for university I have been rummaging through the abundance of fabulous charity and vintage shops. My finds started to become the heart of my blog and I increasingly started to question the ethical and sustainable status of high street stores. I wanted to understand how and where the garments I was buying were being made. This led me to find some shocking figures. The Guardian printed an
Oxfam report on Unilever’s treatment of its employees in Vietnam. Employees were struggling to provide for their families and ‘Of workers in the Cu Chi factory, 80% said they needed another source of income’.

 

Ethically Conscius

 

Workers in a garment factory in Vietnam where the employees work 12 hour days 6 days a week for as little as $1 an hour (Photo Credit: Eleanor Farmer| Oxfam) 

 

 

So charity and vintage shopping became for me a way of being ethical and sustainable in the consumerist world of fast fashion. It is fantastic that the money we spend on clothes from charity shops are going towards fighting incredible causes. ‘Shining Mothers’ is a women’s group in Nairobi that is supported by Oxfam. Jane, leader of the
women’s group, ‘trains other women on their basic rights and skills for running small businesses.’

 

Jane Muthoni, leader of ‘Shining Mothers’, buying ingredients to make homemade yoghurt which she sells to the local community in Kawangware, Nairobi, Kenya. 2016 (Image Credit:Allan Gichigi/Oxfam)

Despite the amazing benefits of charity shopping, it is a shame that it has a reputation for being for the less fortunate. I used to volunteer at a charity shop and I was often asked if we had any shopping bags that did not say the name of the charity on it. From my perspective they did not want other people to have the view that they couldn’t afford high street fashion. These customers tended to be the older generation whilst the younger generations today appear to be taking charity shopping as a new trend, a way of finding something quirky. I have a
friend who chooses only to shop in charity shops for ethical and sustainable reasons. I’ll always remember a short, deep purple cardigan she bought. It was knitted and had beautiful little buttons sown on and a ribbed rim. When she told me it was from a charity shop my heart sank – it was gorgeous and I was desperate to wear it! Only now with my own little finds do I truly appreciate the satisfaction of owning an item of clothing that contributes to your unique style. These pieces also have a story.  Perhaps that cardigan was worn on a trip to Canada or the French Alps. May be
the gorgeous vintage dress I bought from Pop Boutique in Leeds was worn on an evening out in 1960s Paris, walking by the Seine River. Or maybe it was simply worn to a family birthday party, whilst sharing laughs and food in good company. As I sit writing this blog post, a white beige cross-stitched jumper is resting by my side. I bought it today for £6 at a vintage fair in an old Church in the centre of Leeds. I rummaged through the racks of t-shirts, dresses and finally jumpers until I spotted it. The label says ‘CANADA’. Who brought it over here? Was it shipped with many others,
bought as stock? It has history. It will be loved all over again.

 

Laura Jones talking to a customer at the Cowley Road Shop, Oxford.  (Image Credit: Rachel Manns| Oxfam)


I can still appreciate the craftsmanship of designers and show my support for the ones who are environmentally and ethically conscious like Stella McCartney. I can still enjoy a high street purchase but I try to make sure it is from an ethical company.

The most beautiful designs begin with the beauty of ethical working conditions and sustainable sources and I hope one day all of fast fashion will become fair fashion.

 

You might also like: 

Header

How to make your own Upcycled Vintage 20′ Cloche Cap

Header image

What Fashion Means to Me: Nicola Lucas’ view

Shop With Oxfam Online

4 Reasons to Use the My Oxfam app:

So I have to admit, I’m not a very techy person. An avid fan of the Nokia phone in all its indestructible glory I do what I need to do to manage blogging and then I’m out… However I have been feeling a little jealous that I wasn’t able to try playing on the new ‘My Oxfam’ app that has been making such a splash in the technical world, so, when I finally took the technical plunge of investing in a tablet, this App was right at the top of my download list. 

My Oxfam is really easy to find, just type into Google Play or Apple Store and the familiar Oxfam logo will appear. I found the app really simple to get started with, even for a technophobe like me! You can sign into the app either by making a new account or (if you like the lazy option!) through your G+ or Facebook.

My Oxfam App Getting Started

Read:

The first thing you see is a newsfeed full of Oxfam programme stories which you can click on to get snapshots and video clips opening your eyes to completely different ways of life in all the places around the world that Oxfam’s staff and volunteers are acting to help end poverty.

My Oxfam App Newsfeed

Shop:

As a charity shopping fanatic the first thing I made a beeline for on the app was the online shop. You can bring up a side bar by clicking the three-line icon at the top left of the screen next to the app logo. This gives you loads of options to navigate around key Oxfam website content from within the app, including the Online Shop.

My Oxfam App OOS

I love the mobile design of the Online Shop and think I will now favour shopping through the app than on my laptop. It’s so easy to click through to what you want. Me, I want dresses. This is definitely a want and not a need as my double wardrobe is chock-a-block already, but hey, money to charity right? Who could say no!?

My Oxfam App OOS Filters

Once you’re into the category you want to shop then you can click the big green ‘Sort and filter’ button that will let you narrow down that search. (Sometimes you have to wait an extra couple of moments for the button to appear, clearly the big green ‘Sort and filter’ button is not the morning sort, I can’t blame it, nor am I!)

My Oxfam App OOS Categories

What I like about the category selector is that it lets you filter out several different categories at once so you don’t have to choose just one colour or price range or size but could, for example, select size 8 and 10 and Small and Medium dresses in Blue and Pink from the 1950s and 1990s between £2.50 to £20! If they have something you want, you’re going to find it!

Donate:

However, the app is of course not only about shopping and keeping up to date but also a great way to support Oxfam. The app team have created a really simple way to manage one-off and monthly donations with a wheel design that you can simply scroll to the amount you want and you will see exactly what your donation could do for someone on the receiving end of Oxfam’s funding. Amazing! You can easily select to pay by either card or Paypal too so you can choose what suits you best.

My Oxfam Donation

After you have donated you get a lovely Thank You message and video and can see a wheel breaking down exactly where your money goes when you give to Oxfam. I love that you can feel such an instant connection with Oxfam’s work when you donate. The thank you message also appears on your Newsfeed in amongst all the articles about Oxfam’s work once the money has cleared letting you know your donation has been safely received and is being put to good use fighting poverty!

My Oxfam App Gift History

Track Gift Aid:

Another cool thing you can see is a record of, not just the donations you’ve made through the app, but a list of all the donations and shop payments by card that you’ve ever made. This even includes the amount you’ve donated by gift-aiding your donations as the money links through once the items you’ve given have sold.

If you want to give the app a go and find out how much you’ve given to Oxfam over the years then sign up today for free! Simple as that.

Download My Oxfam From Apple StoreDownload My Oxfam From Google Play


Shop With Oxfam Online