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A Cleaner World Blog

How to be an Ethical Shopper

In June, we talked about Fast Fashion, and earlier this month, we discussed Repurposing Old Clothes. Next week, we will be talking about recycling textiles. We’ve also learned about a movement called “Slow Fashion” where manufacturers focus on using natural fibers and creating quality garments by workers being paid fair wages.

Why focus on these topics? We should be concerned about the environmental impact we are making while trying to look good. After all, consumers have the power to guide the fashion industry away from “Fast Fashion” and waste by changing our purchasing habits.

How to Make Ethical Shopping Purchases:

  1. Before Shopping, Do Some Research.
    Look for clothing manufacturers that are dedicated to ethical and sustainable practices. You would be surprised how many companies are out there, some as well-known as Levi’s and Patagonia. One of my favorites for t-shirts is Pact.
  2. Stop Purchasing from Fast Fashion Companies.
    Instead, look for quality, timeless pieces that will last. Things like a Little Black Dress, black trousers, a pencil skirt will always be in fashion and can be mixed and matched with different shoes and accessories to create a completely different look.
  3. When Shopping, Check the Tags.
    Garments made with sustainably grown crops like cotton, hemp, silk, Cashmere, flax, ramie, and wool require fewer pesticides and less irrigation. These fibers reduce farmer’s (and our) exposure to chemicals and place a lower demand on water systems.
  4. Don’t Always Buy New.
    For unique, fun, or one-time only pieces, consider checking out local thrift stores. Sometimes you will find something that is one-of-a-kind. Better yet, shop a friend’s closet. I have been known to do that to avoid purchasing something I will wear only one time.

There are lots of small changes we can all make to help reduce textile waste. If you have practices you’d like to share, post them on our Facebook page. A Cleaner World would love to hear from you.

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