Conscious consumers are changing their attitudes towards fast fashion as more people choose to shop ethically. Breaking the cycle of buying the latest trends when fashion has become so on-demand takes a little bit of effort and small changes. You don’t have to compromise on style when you buy ethical clothing. Ethical fashion brands offer creative collections, impressive design talent, and influential creators leading the ethical movement. Check out some of the habits you can adopt to become an ethical shopper.
1. Shop online and search for small brands with great stories.
Shopping online reduces your carbon footprint by eliminating the need to commute to a physical store. The number of sustainable brand options you can find online means you will find the perfect brand for you. You can find fashion-forward pieces from ethical brands that offer international shipping and free returns. Shopping online gives you the chance to learn about what you are buying. The About section of a brand’s website will detail its sustainability and social responsibilities regarding how they make their products.
Search for small brands with great stories. There are hundreds of small, ethical brands offering amazing clothing produced on small production lines. Small brands that use small production lines can ensure their values are upheld and give you the peace of mind of knowing where your clothing came from.
2. Look for the right certifications.
There is an independent test and certification system for textiles, called OEKO-TEX, that certifies a product as free of hazardous chemicals. Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certifies that textiles have a minimum of 70 percent organic fibers. Forest Stewardship Council certifies that any trees used to produce clothing fabrics were sustainably harvested. Fair Trade certification means the factory workers had fair working conditions and paid a living wage.
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3. Try a capsule wardrobe or clothing rental service.
The best way to be an ethical shopper is to have a minimal wardrobe. Buy fewer clothing items and focus on buying timeless, high-quality pieces that are durable. How you care for your clothing, how you dispose of it, and where you get your clothes from factor into the overall environmental impact of your purchase. The longer you wear and use a piece of clothing, the lower your environmental impact.
Vintage clothing stores are proof that when you take proper care of clothes, they stand the test of time. Buying vintage clothes is a great way to recycle fashion and reduce the number of clothes that end up in landfills. Second-hand clothing costs less than new clothes, and most second-hand stores are charitable, locally-owned, or family-owned.
Consider adopting a capsule wardrobe, or a streamlined collection of versatile staple clothing items that can be mixed and matched. Minimizing the number of individual clothing pieces you have maximizes the use of your wardrobe. By not getting caught up in fashion trends and defining your own personal style, you can lead a minimal lifestyle that makes you feel like your best self.
A unique alternative to the capsule wardrobe is to try a fashion rental service. Renting your clothes, whether everyday items or special-occasion items, allows you to use fewer resources while enjoying a mix of fashion styles.
There are many things you can do to become an ethical shopper. There’s no right or wrong way to be a conscious consumer, so long as you think about what you choose to buy and why.