Ethical, eco shopping, ok who wants me to explain what I mean by that? (Apologies if you’re already in the know but it won’t hurt to hear it again, will it?)
Do you ever give your latest purchase a little more thought? Sure it looks nice, the price was right and the over all experience, be it on-line or through a shop, was great. But what about the steps it took from start to the finish you see in the flesh, so to speak. While ignorance is bliss in the quest for a bargain, there’s no denying that we’re living in a privileged part of the world and that someone, somewhere has spent time creating your new purchase.
And while I’m no stranger to a spot of bargain hunting, I did feel a pang of guilt when a certain well-known store hit the headlines for not treating their workers favourably, to get us our cheap fashion item. So having a pop at some guilt free shopping does appeal to me.
Ethical shopping in its broadest sense is where the money you spend will have an impact on the planet and it’s people and I paid a visit to Sanco’s Dress in Exeter to see what ethical fashion actually looked like. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from a little store in the quieter side of the busy high street. Walking past the mishmash of other independents, I envisioned lots of wood, bright rugs and the odd bit of tie-dye. Instead I was met with a cool, calm and relaxing interior which left me wondering whether I’d been getting the whole ethical thing a little wrong all these years.
I’m quite partial to the odd scarf to brighten up an outfit so seeing this contemporary display of stunning scarves caught my eye immediately but it’s only when you speak to owners that you find out a little more about their journey to the shop (and online store). Each scarf is hand spun on wooden looms in northern Ethiopia by a small operation run by Sancho’s Dress.
They have chosen to employ marginalised women to give them an opportunity to use their skill and to support them as strong, powerful people, ready to sustain themselves and others. How amazing is that!
And what about the cost to us to help make this possible? Well would you be shocked to hear that these stunning, quality scarves are priced at between £20 – £29? Considering that they aren’t thin, cheapies which will tear at the tug of a collar. I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say that’s shattered my illusion of ethical and ecological fashion.
And it’s not just the scarves which made my heart flutter;
If you’d like to make a difference with your Christmas shopping this year, why not pay a visit to the online site or to their store in Fore Street, Exeter where owners Kalkidan and Vidmantis will share their story a little more.
I was invited along to Sanchos Dress in Exeter to experience ethical shopping first hand and learn about their journey as a social enterprise.