There are several issues to consider when purchasing clothing.
1. Who has made it? Have they been fairly paid?
2. What has it been made of? Is it natural or person-made? Are lots of chemicals used in its manufacture? Will these harm the environment or us?
Who has made the clothing?
I have been trying to find out about where clothing in Australian stores is made, and the conditions of the workers, but it has been difficult to find anything specific. I have information from the US and other areas, but nothing specific about clothing sold in Australia. If anyone has any information on this, or suggestions for sources, please let me know!
What I find myself thinking though, when I go into the big stores and think past my immediate reaction of "Wow, what a bargain. I can outfit us all very cheaply here." is "How on earth could someone have been paid a reasonable amount for sewing that?". Think about the prices. I can buy long pants for my boy at two pairs for about $12. Considering that there must be store mark up, advertising, transport and packaging costs, etc - and that there are many stages along the chain of production for these pants that must all make money, I really can't see how it is possible that the person sewing them got a reasonable wage. Please if anyone knows differently, let me know!
And from what I've read, this doesn't just apply to the cheap clothes. Even with expensive clothes it seems that the person actually sewing them seems to get very little.
Please read this article. http://www.behindthelabel.org/pdf/Retailindus.pdf It is about the situation with clothes sold in the US - the Big Brands. There are specific examples, and it certainly contains material that will make you think.
And here are a couple of other links:
What are the clothes made of?
There are important reasons to, whenever possible, use organic cotton or other environmentally friendly fibres for your clothing.
There is a lot of information about organic cotton and the problems with conventional cotton at the following link.
Please visit my "clothing shop" - link on the left - for some beautiful organic cotton clothing, with more coming. It is taking a while to find a big range of clothes, but I'll be adding to this range regularly. I check where the clothes are made as well as the fabrics before listing them here.
You'll also find a great range of organic cotton and hemp nappies in the nappy shop - again, link is on the left.