Garment work 'is just not respected enough' says woman who has sworn off fast fashion

People would be more likely to buy sustainable clothing if they knew of the skill that went into producing garments, a Yorkshire woman who has sworn off fast fashion has said.

Eve Griggs, 24, and from Tingley said she had moved away from buying new clothes after learning about the shocking conditions some workers abroad and in the UK endured, and now only buys secondhand or from reputable retailers.

And during the coronavirus lockdown she had ploughed her efforts into becoming an expert at securing pre-loved pieces.

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Miss Griggs, who previously studied fashion said she was acutely aware of the expertise in the industry.

Eve Griggs from Tingley, has sworn off fast fashion for moral reasons. Photo: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“You know how long it takes to learn and these people who are earning minimal amounts produce these items, whether it's abroad or over here, it is just not respected enough,” she said.

“If I can take myself out of that, I feel a lot better about it, but I want to raise more awareness and I'm always preaching about do you know where this stuff comes from?”

Miss Griggs said she spent hours scouring website Ebay to pick up clothes whether secondhand, vintage, or manufactured new but sold as secondhand.

“By buying them secondhand, you're completely eradicating that whole production process,” she said.

She did occasionally purchase new items, but these were from brands who were transparent and sustainable in their processes.

But she admitted that was “very difficult” and that she was only able to afford this by living at home with her parents.

Secondhand could be “a lot less expensive”, she said but that “you do have to invest a lot of time”.

“You need a lot of spare time, it’s like my hobby,” she said. “I like things that have a history behind them, I like researching brands, I'm quite proud of the things I buy and I see it as a piece of history.

“Fashion is such a rich culture and has so much behind it.

“But fast fashion, especially the online retailers, they're so cheap. So people just buy, buy, buy, and there's no resale value there. So it just sits there or it goes in the bin.

“The best you can hope for is someone gives them to someone else, or donates to a charity shop and they can maybe get something out of it.

“But it just really pains me that you know someone's made that item - and not everyone can make clothes - and then receive nothing for it.”

Miss Griggs said there was not enough importance placed on textiles whether at school or as a career.

“British production is nothing compared to what it used to be. I think probably my favorite era is the 60/70s and a lot of the production was still in this country then and everything's made in Britain and it's something that I feel proud of, the workmanship has lasted for 50 years, and it's still pristine.

“It goes to show it once was great, but we're here in 2021, and we're having issues with people running sweatshops in the UK, there's no pride there anymore.

“I think if people were taught that it was a viable industry, and it was a good skill to have, then something might change, but until people wake up and realise how destructive fast fashion is, it won’t.”