Today I’m following up on one of my previous blog posts titled, Defining Ethical Fashion, and will be going over 5 tips to shopping ethical fashion. Because I realized I told you what it was and why it's important but left out what to do next.
Let’s recap for a moment. Ethical fashion is an umbrella term which is applied to clothing and accessories that are made in good working conditions. For reasons why it is important to be mindful of where and how your clothing is produced, head over to my other post here.
Now, you may be thinking, Katie, I’d love to shop ethical fashion but those clothes are expensive and I just can’t afford them. I have a family to feed, school loans, a mortgage…
Look, I truly understand the struggle. I’m in the same boat with you and everyone else. With everything in life being so expensive, the one thing we can afford is clothing. But we need to think about the bigger picture here. Today, I’m asking you to open your mind and consider making some small shifts in your buying habits which will save you time, energy and money in the long run.
#1 - Decide what is important to you
This is a pretty deep question. But just take a moment and think about what you value most. Are fair wages and safe working conditions on the top of your list? Maybe you want to decrease the amount of chemicals and waste being put into the environment. Or help get women out of human trafficking. We all feel passionately about certain things. You can pick one or all, but whatever you believe in, take a stand and take action.
#2: Research brands you love & become an informed buyer
Now that we're determined what you value and want to support, look into the brands you have in your closet. Google them to find out more about the company, how it's run, by who, where they manufacture. Some of the information may be harder to find, but don't be afraid to ask questions. Shoot me an email and we can work together to find the answers.
#3: Get to know the best ethical shops/designer:
There are so many options out there. Companies that support fair trade, manufacture with zero waste in mind, use low impact dyes, that manufacture locally. etc. It is up to us, who we support. Google ethical fashion designers and see what unknown brands are out there waiting to help you. I'll be following up on this with a future blog posts as I do more research myself and compile a list of options for you!
#4: Shop thrift/consignment store:
The idea behind shopping at thrift/consignment stores is that the damage is already done most likely. But we can help by ensure that more clothes don't end up in landfills. However, I'm going to share a scary statistic with you. Only 10% of clothing donated to charitable institutions are kept and sold. The other 90% of textiles are sold to recycling companies. Who in turn make a profit by selling them to developing countries in big bales like the ones picture below. What do you think this does to their economy? If you have questions about where to donate your clothes, I suggest doing some research before dropping anything off at your local Goodwill.
#5: Wardrobe Swapping:
Do you need a dress that you'll only wear once? Or shoes to match a certain outfit for an event or special occasion. Maybe you have a friend or family member that wears the same size and wouldn't mind lending you that item for the day. It saves you a trip to store, possibly several stores trying to find that 1 thing. And its FREE! Just don't spill anything on it.
There are so many things to consider before supporting a business with your money. Let's not allow this problem to feel overwhelming or unsolvable. Because with small shifts in our buying habits we can make a difference.
Comment below with any questions or information you dig up in your research. If you want to discuss anything privately, just shoot me an email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org and be on the look out for future blog posts about ethical fashion brands!!
"It always seems impossible until it's done."