This week is Fashion Revolution Week, which was created to commemorate the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 people were killed, and encourages millions of people to demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.
I’ve been so fully immersed in the online community that’s dedicated to ethical fashion that I feel guilty when I consider a purchase that’s not from an ethical brand. Maybe you do too. It’s hard. We really can do good in the world just by choosing where we buy our clothes, but at the same time, it’s not easy.
Ethical clothing is often more expensive. It’s not easily available at the shopping center nearby. Ethical retailers may not have size or style options that fit our needs. Even expensive designer brands may not be made ethically. You might feel that sustainable fashion is only for certain styles.
Even if you can’t buy directly from ethical fashion retailers, there are still three important things you can do to make purchases more ethically:
Reconsider a purchase and make use of what you already own. Maybe this is where part of my guilt is coming from. I do have plenty of things to clothe my body. I don’t need anything new. However, style and fashion are my creative outlet and I do like evolving my style, which often means adding new pieces now and then.
Buy secondhand. This is always my first method of buying something. If something’s on my shopping list, I first check on ebay, Poshmark, and in consignment and thrift stores. Sustainable and affordable.
Make a mindful purchase and plan to get as much use out of the item as possible. The least ethical purchases are those that are made and then barely used. The more you wear an item, whatever its production origins, you're slowing down the fast fashion cycle of buy, discard, repeat.
It’s all about baby steps. Do what you can. Awareness is the first step.
(This ethically made top from Elizabeth Suzann is on my wish list)
What I wrote about ethical fashion more than three years ago.
Amour Vert is a pretty reasonably priced clothing company with a wide range of styles made in the USA.
I'm partnering with Route, a St. Louis based ethical retailer, on an upcoming event. Sign up below to get details!