Taking Ownership of my Fashion

Girl in charity shop items down Newcastle Quayside
Sustainable Fashion down Newcastle Quayside.

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When it comes to fashion I’m the first to put my hands up and say I don’t shop ethically, I shop fast fashion and I buy cheap and cheerful. I always had this mind set that saving the planet didn’t fall to me it was down to humanity as a whole and I was extremely naive when it came to this. I will be the first say that I’ve always been that way, I’m not sure if it was down to my education regarding fashion or just because I didn’t think of clothes as more then something I just wore and not about the bigger picture that fashion played within the environment. I worked in Primark for 6 years so I know how much money fast fashion can make in a day but not once did I put two and two together. 

Photography – Nikki Robson
Location: The Cycle Hub – Newcastle Quayside

It was strange to think the my fashion purchases were killing the planet.

I’m a big believer that God makes things happen in our life for a reason even the small things you don’t think he would be involved in. So I definitely feel like this being really on my radar all of a sudden was strange.  I’m not on twitter much and when I am I don’t pay much attention but I kept seeing people talking passionately about this documentary that Stacey Dooley (who I hadn’t heard about) had done for BBC 2 regarding Fast Fashion (Link here to a video from the documentary). I was curious as to why everyone was talking about it as I love a good old twitter bandwagon that I can jump on. So one Friday I decided to watch it as it was my day off and I just sat and watch this documentary about how the fast fashion industry and the garment industry was destroying our planet and it was strange feeling this intense while watching  a TV program. I watched it and thought about it but again I played my naive card and thought my wardrobe isn’t destroying the planet but actually it was. My wardrobe was full of the likes of Primark, H&M, Topshop and other high street stores and I wasn’t batting an eye lid at it. When I worked in Newcastle city centre I remember always popping into Primark and thinking ‘ooo that’s nice I’ll take that’ and wearing it maybe 4 or 5 times and getting rid because it wasn’t a trendy item anymore. 

Sustainable Fashion down Newcastle Quayside.
Sustainable Fashion down Newcastle Quayside.

That’s when it hit me that something had to change when it came to my wardrobe. I knew it wasn’t going to happen over night but I wrote down 4 things I wanted to change by the end of 2018 that would make a small change to the way I bought fashion items. 

  1. I would only buy items from the high street that I saw to be a necessity and they had to be staple pieces that could be used again. (With the intention of only buying from ethical brands and stores from 2019)
  2. I would try and buy from charity shop first where possible. 
  3. I would start looking into ethical and sustainable brands and bloggers whose ethics fell within my ethos of wanting to save the planet and our environment. 
  4. I would try and look at my wardrobe in a different way. Look at it as a capsule type wardrobe that suited the way I wanted my fashion intake to be and how I could use items in different ways.

Jumper: The British Heart Foundation (Originally Marks and Spencers)
Coat: Barnardos (Originally Topshop)
Jeans: Clothes Swap (Orginally Primark)

These steps might be extreme for some but actually some of them are quite easy. I’ve kind of become obsessed with charity shops and found some great items like the ones in the photos within this blog post. I have a blog post coming up about how I did a clothes swap with my friends and how I’m making my summer wardrobe last till winter this year. I’m definitely excited to try this new way of looking and looking after my wardrobe. I recently put up a IGTV over on my Instagram with a little haul of some charity shops buys if you fancy checking that out (Link to my Instagram here).

I remember talking in my New Name, New Beginnings blog post about how I wanted to make my platform more about my passions and I think I might have found a new passion of looking for sustainable and ethical fashion. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post I know its a bit of a ramble but I really wanted to talk about it and I think I’ll be talking about it more in the future so wanted to do this post about how I’m taking ownership 


  1. November 15, 2018 / 2:51 pm

    It’s interesting to think about the impact of fashion on the environment. On one hand there’s a demand for rapid changes yet people are also starting to see the benefits of long-term investments that have less of an impact. I’m sure this is a theme we’ll see more about.

    • melissajanemarshall
      November 15, 2018 / 4:28 pm

      I think a lot of the time we see fast changing fashion happening on our screens on our doorstep on the high street and think that’s it normal but really slowly killing and polluting our planet because of fashion is never talked about is never seen so it’s how we start opening that conversation up to people. 🙂

  2. January 21, 2019 / 9:30 pm

    It’s great to see such good looks are coming from charity shops, and I think the buying from charity shops perception is finally beginning to change. I’m definitely trying to shop more ethically this year too. I’ve never been a big clothes buyer per say but not letting that be an excuse to not make more conscious choices.

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