Seeing Red: Zara's Join Life Collection

April 23, 2018

Audrey Hepburn once said, “there is a shade of red for every woman” which is something that I couldn’t agree with more. Whether you are 5, 15 or 50 years old, live in the UK or Cambodia, in a flat, house or mansion, it is a colour that holds meaning. A colour, that no matter the context, rarely fails to attract attention.


Throughout history, it has always been used in a way that makes a statement, holding cultural connotations of lust, rage, sin and blood. Used on many occasions such as on the roads to signify danger or no entry, in various country flags, in advertising and, of course, in fashion - it is a colour that is both private and public too.


When wearing the colour, I have to admit that it often makes me feel confident. Wearing a red lip for example, tends to be a colour that I use when going out for the evening due to its ability to make me feel empowered and dressed for an occasion. It has always fascinated me that fashion and in particular, colour, can evoke such emotion and feeling. It signifies a great many things and sometimes different things at the same time; specifically, to me it is a colour that automatically reminds of danger and power, but also of my best friend because she is obsessed with it. Colour is something that is both private and public too. It is a way of getting to know someone; have you ever noticed/considered that one of the common questions asked on an initial introduction (or date) is, “what is your favourite colour?” I think it is often because it gives us an indication of that person’s personality. It is also a way of communicating a message/action through association when language is a barrier.


With the colour red on the brain, I thought I would show you some of the high street finds that I came across in Zara’s Join Life collection the other day. I have to admit that I felt slightly apprehensive about going into town and actually being able to find something that is considered conscious or ethical – and that I liked too. However, to my surprise Zara had a really good selection on offer. Now, I must make something clear, although Zara stock a range that is considered sustainable/ethical/conscious. All made from better materials such as organic cotton and Tencel, it doesn’t make it the best option for buying consciously. The rate at which they currently produce clothing is so fast that it is impossible to call them sustainable. Smaller businesses that are focused on sustainability, that produce fair trade, organic or natural products are a much better way of contributing to a better world. However, if you are shopping on the high street then these options are at least a start and at the end of the day, it’s about doing what you can, wherever you are, with what you have.


The first item I picked up was this brilliant, raw hemmed red shirt. The material that this is made of is called Tencel, (a brand name used for the fibre Lyocell) which is a sustainable fibre, made of wood cellulose. The material feels so soft and is light weight which makes it a great option for the summer. There are buttons placed half way up the sleeve to give you an optional sleeve length which also means that with the sleeves unrolled, it is great in the winter too.

My second item is this striped organic cotton red t-shirt. This material feels so nice and soft and I like it as it is versatile; you can wear it alone, or as a layer. As it is labelled organic cotton, this means that the material is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. Organic production systems replenish and maintain soil fertility, reduce the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and fertilisers, and build biologically diverse agriculture. For further info click here.


Overall, a pretty successful trip if you ask me! Since deciding to become a much more conscious consumer (and let’s) face it being a student and therefore having very little money for extras too), I always try to ensure I don’t buy a lot and that what I do buy, I know I can wear on more than one occasion, for more than 5 minutes. I’m not saying I’ll never buy anything that isn’t completely sustainable again because the key part of all of this for me is taking Small Shaw Steps towards the type of person and consumer I want to be.





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