With the fast-fashion business model pumping up the volume of garments being produced, the fashion industry has become one of the largest environmental polluters in the world, second only to oil.
In recent years, more and more people are becoming aware of the damage being done, not the mention the unethical working conditions that allow for such wasteful mass-production, and are taking back the power of their purchase by hitting the industry where it hurts most - right in the pocket.
With the future and fate of the planet in mind, many consumers are looking toward making ethical and sustainable choices when browsing the racks.
Whether it be by supporting brands who create their wares with recycled fabrics or vegan leather or educating themselves on the ethics involved in getting their garb from the factory to the retail floor, consumers are letting the industry know what they value, and big business is starting to take notice, as evidenced by the recent launch of a sustainable collection by global retail force, Zara.
If going all-in sounds like an overwhelming feat, don’t worry: there’s no right or wrong way to make sustainable choices.
Many people start out by making small changes when and wherever possible, learning along the way and allowing themselves make more informed decisions with every decision.
Luckily, for anyone interested in learning more, there is a wealth of first-hand information out there to help guide you, from bloggers to Instagrammers, to ethical fashion designers and boutiques.
We spoke with some of the top eco-friendly fashion bloggers working today and gathered some valuable tips easy enough for anyone looking to change up their shopping game, and use the power of their dollar to change the world, one purchase at a time.
“Buy from brands who are transparent about their circular story from cradle-to-cradle. Even if it's imperfect, you know if they're honest about where they're at and where they wish to go, and your support will help them be that change.
As consumers, it is our responsibility to know how our products are made, how they affect us when we use them, and what happens to them after we dispose of them.
Once you understand the story of each product you use or habit you've made, you truly become a conscious consumer." @leotielovely
“Sustainability can be an overwhelming status to achieve. I’d encourage you to not be stressed with the idea, but to place small eco-friendly adjustments into your life. For example, do you have a recycling bin? How about swapping out that chemically face cleanser that stings your skin to something all-natural? Treat yourself to a pleasant morning by biking to the farmers market, or feel good by picking up a few pieces of litter when you walk down the beach. Making green adjustments takes us back to our human roots and feels noble and honest. Take pleasure in being kind to yourself, and the world around you. When you open up your mind and heart to yourself, nature, and life around you, you grow as a human and a pleasant philanthropic fire in your heart will grow. Do your best and have fun taking control of your life with conscious, kind decisions that radiate positivity.”
“The one tip I have is to ask questions about the story behind any product we buy so we can make more informed, purpose-driven purchase decisions.” @kameachayne
• LET'S GET TRASHY 👻👻 • I mean it. This classy dress from @aeonrow is made from 100% recycled materials, turning what would otherwise have gone to landfills into something of value and use again. Stylish? Check. Low impact? Check. Timeless? Check. . We're redefining what it means to be "trashy," because in this eco scene, it's got a new meaning, and it's something to be proud of. Ready to join this movement? #letsgettrashy (👈🏼I'm scared to see what's already in that hashtag😂) . #MyKonsciousWorld @konsciousofficial 🌱📷: @sisiliapiring
The one tip I have is to ask questions about the story behind any product we buy so we can make more informed, purpose-driven purchase decisions @kameachayne
“Do your research, as some companies pose as being ethical/sustainable but actually they're not. Also, before you buy anything, really try and think about if you're going to use it and wear it enough. I like the 30 wears idea and try and adhere to that.”
Do your research. Some companies pose as being ethical/ sustainable but actually they're not. Also, before you buy anything, really try and think about if you're going to use it and wear it enough. I like the 30 wears idea and try and adhere to that. @englishlassinla
“When it comes to ethical fashion my main priority is a sustainable planet. What that means to me is thinking about the impact something would have on the planet. Of course you can try to find out if the fabric is recycled or organic, but more often than not a retail assistant might not know the exact story of the fabric or garment. A tip I would say is feasible for the everyday consumer would be to simply:
Feel for quality. Make sure the fit is perfect for you and have at least 5 outfits in your mind that you know you can pair this piece with. If the garment is not
a) high-quality b) a good cut AND c) not versatile enough to make 5 outfits, don't buy it. Even if it's got a higher price tag, you will get a gazillion times more wear out of it than you would if you were to invest in a cheaper/less quality item that you're just going to chuck in a few months.” @ethicalfashionblogger
"When I buy ethical clothing online (and when I shop new clothing, I mostly shop online), I always check these fact:
I go to the brand´s website. First of all, I check their about page to see on which kinds of ethics they are focused. Then I check the products in their online shop to see the materials. I always prefer eco-friendly materials for example in summer: linen, organic peace silk, organic cotton and in winter: alpaca fiber and ethical wool in general. When I do not find much information about a sustainable brand, I won’t buy there.
I think it takes a lot time to search for ethical and sustainable fashion brands, which are super modern. And that is why I will launch my new platform THE ECO ALPHABET (ecoalphabet.com) in 2017. It is a directory, where you can search, filter and explore really cool sustainable fashion labels. Brands can now apply for a registration. I think this will be super helpful for shopping tips." @mochni
written by Kristin Howard