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What Do Logos and Labels Say About You?

By August 20, 2017 Ethical

A seed of a thought was planted in my mind a while ago when I read To Die For by Lucy Siegle (click the link for my review). One part of wearing ethical and sustainable clothes, is sending out a message about what you stand for, and Lucy touches on this in her book. But mixing this idea with logos makes it all the more important to pay attention to. Why? Let’s discuss…

ethical fashion advice - should we wear fast-fashion logos?

I might seem a little drastic to jump to the idea of thinking of our subconscious but with the idea of sustainability slowly trickling down to the everyday shopper (even if it’s through the rather controversial and possibly green-washed campaigns by the likes of H&M), what messages people are fed, even when they’re not purposefully thinking about it, all play a role in what happens next.

The idea in Lucy’s book that really stood out to me, was the idea of wearing faux-fur. Any kind of vegan material is suspicious to me (can we really say plastic alternatives to leathers are sustainable? I think not) but there are obviously many reasons why people avoid buying real fur.

The question was – by wearing any kind of fur, fake or vintage, aren’t we still showing the world that we appreciate and see fur as something wearable? That got the ball rolling for me, and it’s brought me back around to logos and labels, as the title of this post suggests.

ethical fashion advice - should we wear fast-fashion logos?

If we’re wearing a visible logo, how does this affect how people view our ethical views? Again, admittedly that sounds drastic to think about but as somebody who owns a pair of Nike trainers, yet stands by going against sweatshops, what does that say about me, when someone looks at my feet?

You might be thinking – does anybody really pay that much attention? Probably not. In fact, people are more likely to pay more attention to what you’re wearing on Instagram to what you’re wearing in real life (the same question still applies though), so perhaps the idea is more of a moral one.

Is it right to wear a Prada logo even when the shirt was bought second-hand? That’s my most recent query, after picking one up from a charity shop. Luxury doesn’t automatically mean ethical, after all, and nobody in passing will necessarily know I re-used an item which would have otherwise had been wasted.

Taking the question about faux-fur and adapting it a little; by wearing a label attached to an unethical brand, new or vintage, aren’t we still showing the world that we in some way appreciate and see fast-fashion as something to be worn and supported?

Visibility to me, is what I think is important. Bold, glaring logos which are immediately recognisable will say something to people in passing (or on social media), no matter how subconscious the connection is.

This doesn’t mean to say I think we should all be throwing out anything we own which is branded (never throw out clothes just because what you own isn’t ethical – keep them for longer), but it is to say I think we should shop more consciously with what message we’re putting out there in mind, especially when the message is easy to recognise and judge. Yeah, I’m saying – avoid that Gucci style Topshop-logo splashed t-shirt that’s apparently currently on sale (or you know, Topshop in general.)

“What about non-visible logos?” I hear you cry – well, as I just said, do not fear if your wardrobe is packed with them already (and by that I mean, Primark or other fast-fashion labels, like I myself still own), as it’s better to prolong their life in your wardrobe than rid of them completely. Also, as I’ve been asked this in the past and also rather recently, yes, it’s okay to shop second-hand even if what you’re buying was originally made or sourced unethically. Your money isn’t going directly into the hands of the industry, so you’re safe to shop fast-fashion in the second-hand world.

Have you ever thought about what logos you’re wearing say about you? Let me know in the comments!

ethical fashion blog - lost shapes x tolly dolly posh


…you’ll soon be able to wear mine on the back of your t-shirt! And yes, it will be ethical. I’ve finally announced my upcoming collection with Lost Shapes which will be available to buy on September 7th, 2017. YAY!

Do you feel inspired? If so, perhaps you might be interested in nominating Tolly Dolly Posh for an Observer Ethical Award. If you believe my commitment to ethical fashion is award-winning, click this link and leave my name, link and a few words in the Young Green Leaders category. 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Branding & Logos in the Fashion Industry

By December 10, 2013 Fashion

Last night I sat down and watched a programme on discount stores, like TKMaxx or the Bicester Village, and it came across an interesting point. I’ve discussed it before I believe, but I thought I would just go a step further in voicing my opinions.

branding logos fashion industry opinion post fashion

Another reason I am interested in discussing this, is after I saw a tweet from a blogger saying they ‘couldn’t compete with other bloggers because they only wear Primark compared to expensive clothing’. And also after the point on the programme which came up when they let people in the public feel a jumper with the label covered by a sticky note (the people had to give a price for how much they would pay, and when the sticky note was taken off, they had to re-price it. The jumper was a Ralph Lauren one, but without the label showing, the people priced it at about £10, and when the label was shown, they tripled the price and said it was worth £30, all because they saw that one label). I find it quite bizarre that people pay more, just because of the make! I have never bought anything because of it’s label, as they say, never judge a book by it’s cover.

I want to talk about the importance of branding and logos in the fashion industry, but the fact that it shouldn’t determine the price of a piece of clothing. Okay, so Ralph Lauren of course wouldn’t be Ralph Lauren without that little-man-riding-a-horse-playing-polo logo (that rhymes), and Chanel wouldn’t be Chanel without the double C’s, but how does a logo make something ‘more valuable’? Branding and logos now mean more than anything, it’s almost a sign of status. If you wear Ralph Lauren, you show that you have a bit more money than someone else, or if you have a Chanel handbag in your arm, then you can afford to splash out on a few bits of leather worth £1000. To be honest with you, I don’t even like the range of Chanel handbags (ooh, controversial I know!), but I think it’s more about status than anything else as I said. Apparently, if I wear H&M and New Look I am not as ‘cool’ and ‘fashionable’ as a luxury buyer, which of course is totally wrong.

I’m not talking about ‘logo t-shirts’ like the Kenzo tiger, I’m talking about the actual label inside tops (you know the ones you have to cut off anyway because they irritate the back of your neck?). Obviously brands have to market their clothes, they want people to know what somebody else is wearing, easily, which is of course what logos do. My question is though, why are they so important to us? Why are we so bothered about the logo that is on my new skirt? Do I look ‘bovvered’ mate, do I? Look at my face… is my face ‘bovvered’? Face? Bovvered? (Catherine Tate references in a rant… #genius)

branding logos fashion industry opinion post fashion nike jd sports

There are three arguments in my opinion; 1 – Status (no, not the ones that you post on your ‘wall’, but as in £££ status.), 2 – Quality (fabrics etc.), and 3 – ‘Fashion’.
Status – If you are seen with a Mulberry handbag (fake or real), people might think more highly of you (or try and rob you… maybe), and might think that you have a nice job etc etc (of course, you could have got it as a gift or whatever, but this is just for an example).
Quality – A lot of buyers believe that just because it is expensive, means it’s better quality, which of course is true in some cases, but if you watched the programme you  would have seen the fact that outlet stores sometimes only sell ‘outlet only’ pieces, which are cheaper versions, of the actual designer product.
‘Fashion’ – Some people generally think that if a product has one of these logos on it, then it is fashionable, on trend and stylish, and of course the fact that if you’re favourite celebrity is seen wearing that specific designer, you must have it because it’s ‘fashionable’ to them.

Even if you are wearing a false version of a brand’s product, the only reason you bought it to be fair, is because it has the ‘logo‘ on it… right? If you genuinely liked the product, surely you would actually splash the cash for the real deal? The other fact is… just plain and simply… why? What is so super special about a designer piece? I understand if you genuinely love the product, the fabric, the way it looks on you, but if you simply just like it because it has the name on it, and you think it is worth more… why? I really do not understand ‘your’ logic. Just because it says ‘Dior’ on it, doesn’t mean it’s nice… the name might be, but do you actually look at the product? You could probably find something a little bit cheaper which is just as nice, just simply without that label. It’s nice to treat yourself of course, but it’s just a name!

Let me take a celebrity for example… I was shopping in the same shop as Dame Helen Mirren (Insta-pap shot for you here), and she was so miserable, she didn’t even have to say anything and she just didn’t come across nice, and the only reason she is ‘special’ is because she has been in films. She’s like everyone else, we’re all human, like t-shirts are all t-shirts, but with different names on the annoying-neck-irritating labels. When (yes, I just said when, one has to be optimistic these days) I become a fashion designer, I don’t really want to be a ‘designer’. I’d love to be on the catwalks at LFW, but not for being a person who sells £1000 bags just because of the name on them, I want my designs to be available to everyone, and to sell because they are nice. Do you get what I’m saying now? If not I just wasted 1000 words on this post. Great. Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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