I purchased this coat my junior year of college (over ten years ago) . It has served me well. It was incredibly warm - and well made enough that goose down didn't leak everywhere. I had a coat that spewed feathers everywhere, and it drove me *nuts* - not in a good way. So this coat really was worth the investment.
I bought these shoes around seven or eight years ago. I don't remember exactly. They have lasted through lots of walks and two years of a gym membership.
The reason I'm writing about them is simply that I invested in a new winter coat and shoes today. These items will be retired, probably to some form of donation store.
Typically I don't buy new, and I can't say that I'm pleased with the research I've done into some clothing manufacturers.
Recently a friend of mine on a popular social networking site posted that she had taken the handmade pledge:
The Ethical Clothing Pledge: I pledge to only wear clothing that is one or more of the following: 1. Pre-loved 2. Handmade (preferably by me) 3. Reconstructed 4. Made with ethical / environmentally friendly materials 5. Made by a company with strong ethical policy & workers' rights
I believe that there are some items that it makes sense to buy new. Even if it's not ethical or environmentally friendly. I don't think that goes against the pledge either.
I need to do more research about the other categories - environmentally friendly materials or strong ethical policies.
My new coat and shoes do not fit with this pledge. But I will think about it for the future.
Some time ago, finding things that were handmade or discovering some company policies would take some time and effort. One would have to go to the library, look in journals - or subscribe to certain publications. Now, with the internet, these things are available at one's perusal. And you can't even argue about the cost, as many of the companies probably have discounts and sales.
While I am all about doing good things now - there is a growing list of things I want to do more of as my kids get older. This would be one of those things. For now, it's not possible for the way I live. But in the future, it would definitely be a possibility.