“Fair is more beautiful”
“Shop Ethically” and reduce your fashion footprint.
Fashion is a powerful form of art. It’s movement, design and architecture all in one. It shows the world who we are and who we’d like to be. It is a way to express yourself.
Lot of time is spent almost every day for the desire of looking good. Many iconic celebrities in the fashion and entertainment world have made some powerful statements about style and fashion.
“I like my money right where I can see it…hanging in my closet.” —Carrie Bradshaw
“I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” —Ralph Lauren
“I know what women want. They want to be beautiful.” —Valentino Garavani
“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” —Rachel Zoe
“Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to go shopping.” —Bo Derek
I think, fashion does not mean buying expensive clothes or more clothes, as fast fashion suggests. It does not mean following each and every trend in the market. That’s like letting the market trends own you. Style and fashion should come from inside. What you like and the way you want to look. The statement you want to make with your clothes. Don’t let fashion own you, rather you decide what your fashion and style is and what you want to express by the way you dress and live.
Fast fashion is a term used by retailers to express that designs move from catwalk quickly in order to capture current fashion trends.
Nothing is more disheartening for a fashion lover than to realize that their passion for clothes might have a negative impact on the rest of the world. Even casual shoppers are contributing to the problem more than they may think. The problem, to be specific, is fast fashion. By now it’s common knowledge that the booming surplus of cheap clothing is causing problems worldwide, from poor conditions for factory workers that lead to tragedies such as the collapsed factory in Bangladesh to an unsustainable toll being taken on the earth’s resources.
There is simply too much clothing being made, often in unethical ways. A century ago it was standard for someone to only own a handful of clothing, made well and repaired over and over again so that each item would last for years. Now the average person buys around 65 items of cheap clothes and discards more than 68 pounds of clothing in landfills every year. It’s not sustainable, so if you care about the earth and the people who live in it then you probably agree that it’s time to look for alternative ways to shop.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but the good news is that it’s actually very easy to make small but impactful changes to the way you shop for clothes. Below are some ways to buy ethically-
Look for the Fair Trade logo. Fair Trade U.S.A. is a non-profit organization that helps identify brands that manufacture their products ethically outside of the U.S. They measure things like working conditions and wages. If a company meets their standards you will find their stamp of approval in the form of a little green, black, and white logo of a person holding a bowl in front of the world.
- You can also find the Fair Trade logo on food products like tea, coffee, spices, and sugar.
- You can find the Fair Trade logo on brands like People Tree, Patagonia, and Eileen Fisher.
Look for an organic or recycled certification. The first thing that you should look for on the label is the Fair Trade logo mentioned above. The label should also tell you if the material is made out of organic or recycled material. Keep in mind that just because a product is made from organic or recycled material doesn’t mean that it is ethically made.
Rely on the guidance of websites and apps. Apps like GoodGuide and Free2Work can help you navigate brands while you are on the go. GoodGuide rates products on a scale of two to ten to help guide consumers to healthier choices. Free2Work is a tool that is used to increase transparency and give consumers the power to make informed decisions about their purchases.
- Keep these apps on your phone for use during your next shopping trip.
Know where your clothing is made. You should check the label to see where your clothing is manufactured. However, it is important to remember that the label doesn’t tell you everything about where the clothing is labeled. Even worse, sometimes the brand is dishonest with the country listed on the label. It is important to do your research instead of relying solely on the label.
- For example, a brand that lists the country as USA may source some of their materials from China.
- According to the Fashion Transparency Index, H&M and Levi’s are excellent at reporting this information to customers
- Learn about clothing. You can’t exactly shop for quality, ethical clothing if you don’t know what to look for. Do a little bit of research, either just about clothing in general or a particular brand that you’re interested in. Where does the clothing comes from, who made it, and what should you look for in terms of quality are just a few questions to ask.
Support local small businesses. Speaking of shopping locally, if you have any small clothing boutiques nearby then they’re a much better bet than your local strip mall. It’s much easier to ask the owner of a small clothing boutique where they source the clothes they sell. Plus you get to feel good about supporting local businesses. Bonus points if that cute little shop on Main Street sells secondhand or handmade clothing.
Make use of fashion transparency indexes. Use The Higg Index, an assessment tool used by the fashion industry to evaluate their environmental and social responsibility, to do research about ethical brands while you are near a computer. You could also refer to the Fashion Transparency Index (FTI), which is an index published yearly to rank the world’s biggest fashion brands according to their level of transparency. You can see the FTI here: http://fashionrevolution.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/FR_FashionTransparencyIndex.pdf
Budget for high quality staples. Let’s talk about budget. When switching to an eco-conscious wardrobe, it’s not impossible to stick with the same clothing budget that you used for fast fashion—but it does require an adjustment to how you shop. Suppose you spend a certain amount of money to purchase 30 to 60 items of cheap fast-fashion clothing per year. Now, you’re more likely to spend the same amount of money purchasing only 10 to 30 new items of clothing per year. However, the quality is almost certainly going to be much better and your clothes will last longer, look better, and be worn more. Take a good look at how many fast fashion purchases you made in the past year and ask yourself if they were worthwhile investments. Wouldn’t you rather have one silk top that lasts for years instead of three polyester tops that fall apart in a year? It might be hard to adjust your shopping habits at first but it will be worth it.