Did you know that 80 percent of all garment workers are women? And more often than not, they are not provided with fair living wages or a safe place to work. On the other side of the spectrum, we women are also the largest consumers of fashion, which means that by shifting our fashion choices, we can help empower women across the world.
So now that we know all of that, you’re probably asking, what can we do about it? With the busiest shopping weeks of the year on the horizon, I felt it was the perfect time to share a few habits that you can introduce to your shopping routine so that you can be a more ethical consumer this holiday season.
Ask "Who Made My Clothes?"
The first thing we need to start getting in the habit of is the practice of asking where our clothes come from and how they were made. With such a white gap between the makers of our clothes and the final product when it reaches the store, we forget that there was an entire process that requires some give and take on our people and our planet. By asking this simple question, we begin to open our consciousness to this very important connection. To know and see more, check out Remake, an organization telling the stories behind the makers of our clothes.
30 wear rule
Implemented from Eco-Fashion Champion Livia Firth, the 30 wear rule is the idea that before buying something, first consider if you can commit to wearing it at least 30 times. The 30 wear rule guarantees that you buy quality items instead of buying in quantity, which means that you might buy less, but keep it for a longer period of time. Not only does it reduce waste in your closet, but it also helps reduces waste on the planet. A tip? Add neutrals to your wardrobe to increase repeated wearability, and when you can, choose quality items that will last longer, not something you can dispose of easily.
Shop Vintage + Secondhand
Shopping vintage or secondhand is essentially recycling. By reusing clothing and giving them another life, it reduces waste. Plus, it’s likely that vintage items will be a unique piece, which means that you won’t have to worry about someone else having the same outfit as you!
Support ethical brands
There are many ethical brands out there, many who empower their makers and reduce their impact on the Earth. Ethical brands are made with integrity and support a socially responsible ethos. The challenge is finding them, as they are not always readily available. If you want to get started, check out my ethical brand directory, where I’ve documented some of the ethical brands I’ve discovered.
Shop local and support small businesses
Because they often manage a smaller production line, they are more likely to be able to trace their supply chain (or how their products are made) much easier. Plus, buying local instead of only big corporations, we help support our local community by boosting its economy.
Do Your Research
If you’re curious about the fashion brands you’re already supporting, research them and see if they’re aligned with your own values. Tools like Project Just help consumers access information about the brands they wear. It’s like a Wikipedia for ethical fashion. I know corporations have a bad rap, but some of them are actually performing responsibly. I wrote a recent blog about a few big brands that are socially responsible. Check it out here.
So there you have it, my suggestions for an ethical shopping lifestyle. Remember, your dollar is your vote. Our fashion choices do more than make us look good- if we use our powers wisely, we can do a lot of good too. I hope helps you understand how you can use your Glamour for Good, and fueled your potential to be a fashion changemaker. If you enjoyed this post, please do re-share it. Merci and happy holidays!