Fashion, ethics & dilemmas / by Cinthia Contreras

As we strolled through Galeries Lafayette, we both spotted it at the same time: leather, just the right number of studs and - on sale. Before you could say ‘perfect clutch’ my friend Noush was striking her best pose in front of the mirror. There was no denying they were meant for each other. That's when we realised we didn't even know who it was by. As we peeked inside, we both gasped, then grumped. Majorly.

Months back in London we had vowed to boycott this particular brand (and their admittedly an irritatingly tasty offerings) in light of certain revelations. But as we stood there staring at the hot-as-hell piece we were left wondering, to what extent should our ethics affect the pieces we choose to buy?

You can't beat a good piece, the kind you can make a statement with season after season. And after all, if you're rocking your item, no-one else will know that you sold out (even if it was yourself). And one or two great items from a brand you don't ‘approve’ of isn't such a big deal, as long as you look great, right? Try as she might, Noush just couldn't bring herself to do it and said hot-as-hell piece was left to find another owner.

The choice of brands we now choose to welcome into our wardrobes says a lot about us as shoppers. Some just can’t abide any form of fast fashion. Others flatly refuse to buy into any and every brand that uses fur or leather. For some, poor production methods and environmental factors are the make or break. For others, it’s a certain image that they just do not want to be associated with. No matter the reason, the outcome is the same - that killer piece will NOT being going home with you. It was all so much easier when we could just ignore it all and simply be seduced by an item’s sheer beauty. Ethics and fashion sure are uneasy bedfellows...

The Chicutopian (@barbedchic)