Editor’s note: Steffanie Lister is a Year 10 Australian high school student who works one day a week at Eco Warrior Princess and The Social Copywriter. She has been employed with us for approximately seven weeks. I asked Steffanie to write a piece about what she’s learned so far. This is what she wrote…
I am 15 years old and I am obsessed with clothes.
I used to be in love with “big brand” clothing sold in my favourite shops like City Beach; brands such as Mink Pink, Billabong, Quiksilver, Rip Curl, Vans, Converse, Mooloola, and Havaianas to name a few.
But then I learned about real fashion. Working at Eco Warrior Princess you can’t help but learn what’s really going on in the fashion industry.
It has made me realise there’s so much more to a piece of clothing then the brand stitched on the tag. And it has also made me realise how much I have been ripped off with cliched trends.
I’d look at these brands as if they were exclusive, but they’re only portrayed that way because of the high price tag. It’s not that special. The clothes are like a photocopied autograph from a celebrity. It’s not original. It’s not real. I now look at these brands like they’ve just copied and pasted their clothes. One after another. And we’re so blinded by the fashion trends, we’re so oblivious to what’s happening.
The amazing looking ads the “top” brands promote, lure everyone in. It’s quite disappointing to see people paying so much money for something that wouldn’t even be worth half of what it’s cost, driven by trends and blind to what true fashion is.
Jen has opened my mind and eyes to the world of real beauty in fashion; the beauty of a piece of clothing made by the hands of a human being. A handcrafted item that is truly original.
Nothing is better than dressing yourself up with a garment no one else has; made from organic fabrics woven and stitched by a women’s hands with care – not imported “fake” fabric put through an automatic stitching machine with a label and an outrageous price tag. Not to mention the amount of damage this kind of fashion does to the environment.
I have also learnt the importance of not just what you put on your body, but what you put in your body. I used to look at food and think it’s just food but there’s so much more I didn’t know. Working at Eco Warrior Princess has opened my eyes up to the amount of harmful chemicals we put in our bodies on a daily basis that we are completely unaware of. It is crazy! I have recently been watching my sugar intake after some discussions about the effects that refined sugar has on our bodies. I’ve only slightly altered my sugar intake and I feel better already.
It makes me wonder what kind of person I would still be if I didn’t come across Jen or work at Eco Warrior Princess. She has inspired me to travel the world; to see the different places ethical fashion is being made. I wasn’t even interested in travelling until I came across Jen. She really inspires me to grow up and become a better woman that can make a change in the world.
She has taught me how much of a difference just one person can make. I admire how hard working she is. I feel so much more educated and wise and I feel motivated to eventually fill my wardrobe with environmentally friendly clothing that is unique and beautiful. She has given me a whole new outlook on the world and how I see things.
I strongly encourage you to do some personal research of the clothes you are buying, what the brands stand for, and what you are actually paying for.
You’ll be surprised like I was.
I believe that women and men that shop ethically are the true representation of beautiful, because they are not just thinking of themselves, they are thinking of the people who create and design the products we buy. They think about the materials, whether animals were harmed, whether the fashion harms themselves and others. They consider the environment and protecting it for future generations to come.
To me that is true beauty. To be able to dress yourself in such a way where it not only looks beautiful, but the story that runs through the threads and stitches of the clothing is beautiful too.