Sustainable Fashion Choices Guide – Making ethical and sustainable consumer choices should no longer be a “choice.” It seems like every week we hear a new story about the terrible damage being done to our planet, so why do we ignore an industry that is the second biggest polluter in the world (after oil)?
In fact, making an ethical choice when buying new work trousers or a little black dress is more confusing than choosing organic oranges at the supermarket. The problem is not because people don’t want to make sustainable shopping decisions, but because they don’t know where to start.
Sustainable Fashion Choices Guide
When the industry is so unsustainable and retailers are using social responsibility as a marketing strategy, knowing where to start can be very intimidating. Especially if you’re not ready to spend all day learning about every brand you support.
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But don’t worry because I’ve narrowed down 10 things to look for when shopping. Ethics made easy with this cheat sheet. Of course, if you want to dive into the world of ethical and sustainable shopping, there are hundreds of great resources out there that I encourage you to read.
But if you honestly don’t want to be a total environmentalist and you just want to be sure that your shopping habits won’t kill a woman in a factory or poison someone’s drinking water, here’s a list.
30 Fit Tests: I’m not here to tell you not to shop. Shopping is fun. Fashion is the best way to express yourself. But next time you spend money on new clothes, do the 30-wear test.
Try it, it feels amazing, then give it some serious thought. Would you wear this 30 times? Sounds like a pretty big number, right? For evening wear, you can cheat and make it 10 pieces. If you’re not serious about wearing the outfit 30 times, don’t buy it.
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Honestly, this was a bad decision. Even if you make $10,000 a week, don’t waste your money on clothes you can’t even wear 10 times. It’s also scary for the planet and the product makers in factories in China or India.
I’m a big proponent of rentals. If you’re attending a big event and want to wear something nice, rent it. Don’t put sentimental value on clothes, just take some nice photos with your friends, have fun, then take them back to the rental location and move on with your life. This also means you don’t have to go through the hassle of dry cleaning (which is a huge hassle).
2. Watch for the signs: Unfortunately, the rise in interest in sustainability has also been accompanied by an increase in greenwashing and cause marketing. This means that in terms of authentication you have to be able to differentiate between what is genuine and what is fake.
Scam logos do exist, so be wary of logos that make similar claims but are not the official organizations listed above.
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3. Where is the production? Aim to shop locally, especially from small businesses with ethical and sustainable practices. If you do want to buy a product from a big brand, make sure you know where the product is made.
The farther the distance, the more fuel it will take to get to you. Even if factories are environmentally friendly and employ fair trade practices, transporting clothing and textiles has a huge environmental impact.
Beware of products made in China, India, Bangladesh, Colombia, Peru, or Italy. These countries have high rates of forced labor, workplace deaths, and unfair wage agreements. You can still buy from these countries, but only brands with Fair Trade agreements will be supported. It’s not just about salary. These working conditions are dangerous and sometimes fatal. Your $20 t-shirt isn’t worth risking someone else’s life for.
4. Material: Another thing to pay attention to when shopping is the choice of material. The durability of different materials varies greatly.
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Choose natural fabrics whenever possible. If you buy leather or anything that is not sustainably produced from a thrift shop/shop. A good leather jacket can last a lifetime, so invest in one you love.
5. Dyes: It is said that you can predict the most popular colors for the next season by looking at the colors of rivers in China and India.
Dyes are a major sustainability issue in the fashion industry but are often overlooked. These dyes often contain dangerous toxins that are harmful to the body, and worse for civilians whose water supplies are contaminated with chemicals.
Before clothes leave the factory, 10-15% of chemical dyes are released into local water supplies. 50,000 tons of dyes enter the water system every year from textile production. In addition, up to 20 liters of water are used to dye the fabric per T-shirt.
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Choose naturally dyed fabrics whenever possible. These dyes still use large amounts of water but have far less harmful effects when released into the local environment.
6. Transparency: Transparency is essential in sorting eco-friendly brands from fraudsters. Brands that have nothing to hide openly reveal the factories they come from, the materials they use, and where their clothes are produced.
Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as checking the “Environmental and Social Responsibility” tab on their website, as many brands try to pass themselves off as ethical retailers as the topic is popular among consumers today.
Pay attention to actual facts, names, statistics, and details. Brands should not blatantly lie about their policies, but they can use vague language to make their policies appear more sustainable than they actually are. Numbers don’t lie.
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7. Read care labels: Stop soiling your clothes. Read the care label and do your research. The only thing better than buying sustainably is living sustainably. Don’t ruin your clothes, and you won’t have to buy any more clothes. Wash your jeans every 10 wears and save energy and water bills, your jeans, and the planet!
You’ll be surprised how much impact proper clothing care can have on the longevity of your clothes.
8. Cost does not equal quality or sustainability: Zara and other big fast fashion brands are synonymous with bad ethics and waste. However, this does not mean that well-known fashion houses such as Gucci and Chanel are immune to this issue. Cost has nothing to do with quality or social responsibility.
Don’t assume that your clothes are ethically and sustainably produced just because you spent $500. Do your research.
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9. Know your safety brands: If you don’t have time to think about this list, make a list of your own “safety brands.” Look for 5-10 brands that you can buy without checking each item of clothing. Reformation is a great brand with strong ethical values, and many other clothing brands are also completely safe to buy from. If you make a list, you won’t be rushing to buy a fast-fashion dress when you need something last-minute. 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced globally each year, and more than 15 million tons of textile waste was generated in 2017. Just in the US. In response to a trend-crazed world influenced by consumerism, slow fashion aims to allow us to refocus, shop smarter, be more informed and mindful. Vivienne Westwood said it best:
Slow fashion is about creating, and purchasing high-quality items that are made to last. The growing movement encourages a variety of sustainable practices, including connecting with the environment and reducing toxins and waste. The principles of slow fashion include: sustainable materials, less collection, fair trade, waste minimization, maximum possible use of resources, and transparency.
Do you know the term “shopaholic”? Simply put, people who change religions slowly do the opposite. Next, we’ll cover at least 21 things you can do today to switch from fast to slow fashion. Every choice you make matters: from the clothes you choose to the type of earrings, shoes and bags. From the type of ring you wear to the items that must be in your wardrobe. The good news is that everyone, regardless of budget, values, and time constraints, can find ways to reduce the impact of their clothes. Read on to find out what you can do and how you can do it – in simple, easy-to-follow steps.
Slow fashion is a concept that is the opposite of fast fashion. The movement advocates conscious production, distribution, and consumerism as a response to the polluting and wasteful fashion industry.
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In contrast to fast fashion, slow fashion encourages action to reduce carbon footprints, child labor, and other unethical industrial practices. Additionally, sustainable fashion supports fair treatment, fair wages, good working conditions and fair trade. Encourage the use of environmentally friendly and natural fabrics and conscious consumerism.
Slow fashion clothing mostly uses natural and organic materials. The fabric and cut are designed to last. Overall, production was slow
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