In the last year I’ve noticed a steady rise in the number of men commenting on this blog, writing personal emails, approaching us to contribute guest posts and following on social media platforms, particularly Facebook.
Historically I have devoted much of our resources to exploring women’s issues including eco beauty, feminism and sustainable style. But our male readership is growing, and we need to grow with it. So it is for this reason that I have made the executive decision to increase the number of posts devoted to topics that interest our male fans.
This decision is being embraced by none other than my fiance Ben who has long complained that the content published on this site is “girly” and if it weren’t so female-centric, he would visit the website more frequently.
Naturally, I also asked Ben if he would be happy to contribute topic ideas, participate in product reviews, be a part of upcoming videos and model in photo shoots featuring ethical fashion for men. He agreed. As you can see from his silly modelling poses, this photo shoot was done on his terms. I’m not going to complain. Quite frankly, I’ll take whatever I can get!
Related Post: The Worst Ethical Fashion Photo Shoot Ever
Yin and Yang.
Now Ben is one of the blokiest blokes you will ever meet. There really is no other way to describe him. He is a red blooded Australian male specimen who loves his sports (Aussie Rules and cricket). He enjoys a beer at the end of a work day. He owns big boys toys aka heavy machinery. He prefers working with his hands. And he loves a good laugh. His positively masculine outlook on life is extremely attractive. But here’s the thing: we sit on the opposite sides of the sustainability spectrum.
He eats meat on a daily basis. I’m vegetarian. I boycotted Coca Cola. He quenches his thirst with the stuff. I try to practice zero-waste, he forgets to bring reusable bags. These aren’t deal breakers, but I am keen to help Ben improve his eco-consciousness because it’s my personal mission to help people be the change.
One area that I am only now helping Ben with is creating an ethical wardrobe.
Ben’s wardrobe of convenience.
His wardrobe is a hodge podge of opportunistic garment acquisitions: some clothes were inherited from his brothers; some he finds (yes, seriously, he finds clothes like I find five cent pieces!); some were purchased at charity shops; some, like his work uniforms of fluoro yellow safety shirts, navy pants and steel capped work boots, were provided by employers.
Now when it comes to sustainable fashion practices, Ben has a lot going for him. He has rarely purchased new clothing in all the time we’ve been together. And he knows how to make full use of the clothes he does own.
However since the launch of our businesses, Ben also began shopping at chain stores. To my horror, he returned with garments and accessories that I’m certain were manufactured with slave labour. His defence? He needed them, he’s busy and it’s just more convenient going down to the shopping centre.
If it were another person, I would probably have let it slide, but not Ben. After all of my work in raising ethical fashion awareness, he of all people does not deserve a Get Out of Jail Free card. He knows better. So with all the diplomacy I could muster, I said:
What the fuck? You are making a mockery of my life’s work! Have I not taught you anything? Do not spend any more money at those shops! From now on, I will do your shopping for you. What do you need? I’ll jump online right now for you…
Judge, jury and executioner I am not. But am I an ENTJ? Abso-fuckinglutely!
So the time has finally come: I’m overhauling my man’s wardrobe. Luckily this blog has given me six years of ethical fashion preparation. Let’s do this!
Now over to you: Are you in a relationship? Do you sit on opposite sides of the sustainability spectrum? Feel free to share your stories in the comment section below.