In my last article, I talked about the destructive nature of cheap “fast fashion” clothing and why the only conscionable thing to do as a society is to embrace the slow fashion movement. That’s not the only way you can make a difference, though. Today I want to talk to you about something called “ethical shopping,” which is about making socially conscious and ethically minded decisions in your everyday shopping habits. With care and consideration, you can make a difference in #yourWORLD, no matter how small.
The first step is to understand why ethical shopping matters. What is so bad about fast fashion? What separates ethically conscious companies from companies that are only chasing dollars? What do fair trade, ethical consumerism, slow fashion, and sustainable fashion even mean? Here are a few great resources to get you started:
Challenge Companies to Be Transparent
Be curious and proactive. Ask companies where their products are manufactured and where they source their raw materials. What is their supply chain? Do they have policies in place for fair trade, to adequately support their factory workers, or to minimize environmental damage? Place pressure on companies and leverage the power of the almighty dollar. In this day and age, it’s easier than ever to get in contact with companies via social media and demand accountability. At WORLD Hair & Skin, for example, we’re happy to answer any questions about where our products come from, where we source our ingredients, and any other questions you’d like to know. It’s #yourWORLD – you deserve to know.
Here’s the tricky thing – a company can have a “Made in USA” or “Made in Canada” label on their clothes even if only part of the garment was manufactured in North America. For example, a shirt may be stitched locally, but the yarn or fabric may come from overseas. You can bet your bottom dollar than companies do everything they can to stretch the compliance rules to the maximum, especially huge brands. Your best course of action is to shop at small local eco-conscious stores and buy from independent designers who can provide more detailed and accurate sourcing information.
Make Second-Hand Your First Choice
The second-hand market is supremely underrated. Not only is it a great way to find value (often cheaper than the discount fast fashion prices), but you are helping the environment by not contributing to the production of new clothes. You can find some beautiful unique pieces with a lot of history behind them. You can visit local thrift stores and vintage shops, or hunt on eBay, Kijiji, or Craigslist for that perfect item. Even better, consider cleaning out your closet and donating your gently used clothes to a good cause like the Salvation Army or Goodwill, or try your hand as a second-hand vendor online.
At WORLD Hair & Skin, we are huge supporters of ethical shopping. Once you experience high quality, all natural, environmentally safe hair and skin care products that work, you’ll never want to go back.