Typically, when purchasing clothing we have a conversation with ourselves before we head to the checkout. We take time to try it on, hum and haw over the colour (or lack thereof) and check the fabric tag and washing instructions, etc. But does your list include determining what clothing brands are ethical?
I’ll admit that in the past I have not looked closely at where my clothing has been made. As a fashion blogger it can be an overwhelming situation because I want to keep my clothing current and shoppable for you. When I need to ensure that I have multiple outfits to showcase, I tend to overlook where my clothing is made and more so how much it will cost me.
I’ve associated ethical brands with an expensive price tag but as I’ve explored ethical clothing, that isn’t the case. If you aren’t familiar with what ethical fashion means, it is an umbrella term to describe ethical fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing. It covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare.
After the oil industry, the apparel industry is the second largest industrial polluter in the world*. We purchase our clothing from fast fashion retailers (ie. Zara, Forever 21, H&M, Topshop, etc.) because we want the latest trends for a low price tag and after wearing them a handful of times, we replace them with the next best thing. 80 billion pieces of new clothing are churned out every single year.* That’s 400% up from 20 years ago.*
If you don’t know where to start, here are some tips on how to shop ethically:
- Purchase items that are well made and you will wear for more than 5 times.
- When you’re done with your clothing, donate them instead of throwing them away.
- Purchase from second-hand stores.
- Create a personal uniform.
- Purchase from stores who provide ethically manufactured brands.
- Research your favourite brands: If you aren’t aware if your favourite brands are made ethically, you can Google it.
I’ve made more of an effort to do these 6 steps in the last year. I’m not the best researcher and get taken down rabbit holes of good/bad manufactures but one retailer is taking this process into their own hands.
I’ve recently discovered ARC Apparel based in Vancouver. They take the guess work out of your shopping trip and ARC sources brands that are doing notable things in the apparel industry. In the realm of sustainability, ethical manufacturing, or giving back.* Did you know that Levi’s are an ethical fashion brand? I had no idea! My outfit in this week’s post can be found at ARC Apparel and is ethically conscious.
Sarah Stewart, Owner of ARC Apparel wants to show us that being confident includes knowing what you’re wearing and owning it. Being on trend shouldn’t come at the cost of the planet but what’s on the tag.
Head on over to ARC Apparel and place those ethical shopping tips into action.
*Taken from arcapparel.ca