We are all becoming increasingly aware of the damage our lifestyles are causing to the planet, and so many of us are taking proactive steps to live more eco-conscious and sustainable lifestyles. Fashion is a passion for lots of us and it seems like we can never get enough, however, our frivolous spending is contributing to unethical labour and environmental pollution. The good news is, you can still shop for fashionable clothes without contributing as much to these global issues – support responsible fashion and shop sustainably. Here are our top three shopping habits that we should all adopt for the planet.
1. research brands
We all have our favourite brands, but how much do you know about their labour practices? It might feel like a bargain to us when we find a stunning dress for just £20, but cheap clothes often cheat the workers who make them out of a living wage, and they’re made to work in unsafe conditions with inhumane treatment. Avoid supporting these awful labour practices by researching your favourite brands, where they make their clothes and how. Use this information to make informed decisions when you shop.
When you look at how many shops on the high street are supporting unethical practices, you might be wondering how they all get away with it?! The truth is, they think the consumers won’t care as long as the price is low enough. Would you forget about unfair labour just for a 2 for 1 sale? Spend your money with brands whose practices you agree with – once the others stop getting your money they’ll take note. Some clothing brands are leading the way in human rights. For example, ASOS has developed its own training program for modern slavery.
2. explore the world of pre-loved
Buying clothes second-hand is becoming easier and more fashionable all the time, and it’s a fantastic way to not only make more eco-friendly purchases but wallet-friendly purchases too. This is an easy way to shop ethically that everyone can do. Find your local flea markets, vintage fairs and charity shops and begin exploring. This is an incredibly fun activity, especially with friends. Find pieces that really resonate with your personal style and you may be surprised how cheap they are. There are also more and more brands taking note of sustainability, and producing on-trend clothes that re-work old vintage items. In this day and age, ethical shopping doesn’t mean you can’t stay on top of the latest fashions!
3. choose quality over quantity
One simple shopping habit that’s better for the planet is to take a ‘less is more’ approach to your wardrobe. Buying less and investing in better quality, timeless-looking garments is a small personal protest against the world of fast fashion. Whether you are shopping from sustainable stores, second-hand shops or on the high street, look for top quality items that you know you can wear for years to come. Some take the capsule wardrobe approach for each season, revolving around basics, statement pieces and versatile accessories. This is a great method for buying less but still having a satisfying wardrobe.
Next time you see an item you want to buy, simply ask yourself if you really need it, how often will you use it, and is there a more planet-friendly alternative?