Ethical Fashion. It’s a buzz word these days, but what does it actually mean?
If you type “what is ethical fashion?” into the Google search bar, you come up with lots of different answers.
I guess because everyone has their own ethics, “ethical fashion” is going to be open to interpretation. Ooh. How meta.
To prevent your head from exploding, the Ethical Fashion Forum’s definition of ethical fashion is this:
An approach which strives to take an active role in poverty reduction, sustainable livelihood creation, minimizing and counteracting environmental concerns.
I’m going to substitute their “and” with an “or” and that’s my definition.
Why? Because “done over perfect,” “some over none” and “every little bit helps” are my mantras for staying sane.
My goals for this business are pretty straightforward. I want to do what I love, and to improve the world while I’m doing it. For me, “improving the world” may be on a very micro level – helping a postpartum mama feel sexy again for the first time in months when she looks in the mirror – or it may be more macro – supporting manufacturers who make sustainable clothing, or empowering women out of poverty or sex trafficking.
I just want to have a clean conscience when I operate my business, and know I’m not supporting sweatshops or piecework.
Love Delphine and Delphine Boutique have led me to some amazing brands – gorgeous vegan “leather” handbags and shoes, 100% recycled fibers, and one of a kind fair trade pieces. Ethical fashion totally scratches my travel bug itch (hmmm actually, maybe it makes my wanderlust worse, come to think of it! Ha!) and educates me on all sorts of different textiles and trends.
In my dream life, I could be Gwyneth Paltrow and curate a perfectly vegan handbag collection, and my clothing would all be perfectly organic, sustainable, fair trade, and gorgeous, and I would travel the world with my five trilingual nannies and my trilingual, well-traveled, world citizen children.
But maybe, actually, my dream life is what I have right here, right now.
A perfectionist streak the size of a category 5 hurricane exists inside of me. Quelling this storm is a daily battle.
Sometimes, I have to walk away from things I care about in order to protect my sanity. Many moons ago, I started a blog about organic and sustainable parenting. I was a new mom, I was excited about cloth diapers and organic baby food, I liked to write. It seemed like a great hobby, right? But I became obsessed with reading labels and researching plastics and making sure everything I did was flawless. I was fearful of publishing any tiny nugget of misinformation on my blog.
Sure, those baby food pouches (which were brand new and revolutionary at the time, by the way… I’m officially a dinosaur) were convenient and way lighter to carry than jars were, but were they made out of BPA containing plastic? Were they as Earth friendly as the recyclable and reusable jars were?
I used cloth diapers, but were those actually harder on the environment, because of how much water it took to wash them?
See what I mean? It wasn’t healthy.
Information overload can be paralyzing, and when you’re a perfectionist at heart, you want to gather, gather gather all of the information until everything is perfect. But it never is perfect, because information contradicts itself, so you’re never done. You just sit around and obsess over information.
So I am embracing the motto “done over perfect.”
I am giving myself the grace to embrace the season of life that I am in. And in this season of life, I have 3 kids, all of whom are still pretty little. In this season of life, my reality is that our family has to factor sports, unforeseen urgent care visits, vet visits (after all, we do have a menagerie of pets hanging around these parts!), college savings, and ginormous Costco runs into the budget.
I eat cheeseburgers sometimes, which may be in every season of my life, but never say never, someday maybe I’ll try veganism again.
We use our own water bottles, but sometimes, when we’re out, and thirsty, we buy a plastic bottle of water, and sometimes, every once in a blue moon, I have to throw that empty plastic water bottle in the garbage because I can’t find a recycle bin. I’m so sorry, Mother Earth.
I love to support small businesses. I love to support fair trade companies. But sometimes, a mom has gotta make a Target run, ya feel me?
“Done over perfect” is the motto that keeps me sane. If I was striving to curate perfection, I would be paralyzed. In my personal life, and in my business.
So my goal with Delphine Boutique is to educate the average, everyday woman on what fast fashion is and how it is impacting the planet and women across the globe.
From there, we just do better. Done over perfect.
I want to offer beautiful, comfortable and affordable alternatives to polyester. I want to offer products that are made in the US. I want to offer products with a mission. I want to offer gorgeous, like new or almost new secondhand items. And I want to offer fair trade products. It’s that simple.
Are all of these things going to be perfect, and check every single box all at once? Nope. And I’m okay with that.
Because I am giving us all the grace to say, we are doing our best.
I know that the average woman receives tons and tons of information daily, and she has to filter it out and decide what is relevant to her own lifestyle and budget. It’s my goal to make finding ethical fashion that much easier for her.
I don’t need to be perfect. I just want to offer better alternatives to fast fashion.
Come find me on Facebook and tell me your thoughts on ethical fashion, and what you’re looking for! I want to know!