The other day I stood in a high street shop asking for my money back for a dress I bought just 5 weeks earlier.
I needed a dress for two weddings. I'm a business owner and a mother of two young children so don't have the luxury of time. I wanted to wear something I already have, however, I've spent the last five years either pregnant or in lockdown, so my body isn't quite what it used to be!
So I had 2 hours and went to my local shopping centre, I felt if I couldn't find it there it simply didn't exist, this was mistake number one.
I went to my usual favourites, Cos, Arket and Other Stories. And there was nothing for me in any of them. So then I started to panic, I could not leave without a dress.
I bought a dress from a well known high street store, one most of us rely on at some point. It was fine, pretty, could travel well and didn't cost too much. Mistake number two.
After two weddings - so approximately 20 hours of wear it had 4 holes in it. This is wrong, so I took it back, it was not fit for purpose. I thought it would be easy, but no. I did get my money back eventually but it was agonising have to explain why it was not ok to sell dresses that get holes after 2 wears.
I/we have accepted this way for too long now.
So I've decided to change the way I shop and I'm sharing it with you to hold myself accountable.
1. I will buy all/most of my clothes from Independent boutiques
We supply some of the best and award winning shops across the country, so I am sorry it has taken me this long to make this promise.
Here are some of my favourite independent boutiques:
Albion Stores Margate
Hub Stoke Newington
Women's Society Hertford
The Mercentile Shoreditch
2. Make my own clothes
I have been a hobby sewer for 5 years. I started at a local class to learn about clothes construction and to help me grow as a designer. And I got the bug! I'm not sure I will ever make all my own clothes as I love fashion, designers and shopping but I have made a few items now - I'm currently making the I AM Irma shirt.
And next i'm going to make myself a jumpsuit. I just found the perfect pattern!
I'm going to allow myself to still buy an occasional item from absolute favourites (mainly Cos) because their clothes are not fast fashion and they last forever but it's time to say goodbye to the high street and to start really engaging with the people who work tirelessly to discover and stock the best clothes.
So will you join me in my quest for better clothes and supporting our independents?
P.S We make all of our faux fur accessories in our own factory here in Devon. I personally see the incredible quality we delivery every day. Each item is made with such care and attention. Everything is made to last. Read more about it here