I was recently interviewed by a student as part of their university dissertation research which discussed, in part, what fashion meant to me and it really made me think. As someone who is interested in ethical fashion as opposed to, indeed as well as, ‘regular’ fashion, I questioned how does my relationship with fashion change?

Fashion is about expressing your identity, showing someone who you are through your fashion choices and using your clothes to tell someone something about you. Or at least it is for me- I suppose for some people clothing is just about comfort or utility but for me it’s about expressing myself.

Part of choosing ethical fashion over other fashion brands adds another element to what fashion means to me and what I choose to express to other people. For me fashion isn’t just about picking pretty garments that show off my personality, it’s also about linking me to where the clothes themselves have come from- they make me feel like I’m part of the bigger picture. I choose clothes based on where they have come from and who has made them. I like to know that what I’m wearing hasn’t negatively impacted on someone else’s life and by wearing that, I not only pick those garments for my own benefit but I express that to everyone else who sees me wearing them. I suppose other people might not pick up on it to the same extent that I do as I tend not to wear garments with ‘Fair Trade’ or ‘Oxfam’ emblazoned over the front of them but anyone who knows me even a little will know how I pick my clothes.

So what does fashion mean to you? Do you wear clothes to express yourself or it is simply about aesthetics or utility for you? Is it something else altogether different? And how does the element of ethics work its way into your concept of what fashion means to you? Let me know- I’m intrigued!