A good sense of style doesn’t have to come at the expense of the planet. Unfortunately, it often does. The fashion industry is one of the leading generators of toxic chemicals, excess material waste, greenhouse gases and factories in the industry often feature unsafe or unethical working conditions for laborers. There are, however, several ways to demonstrate your fashion sense without increasing your carbon footprint. Thanks to several ethical movements in the world of fashion, it’s easier than ever to shop with the earth in mind. Read on for several tips to help you find eco-friendly fashion products as you build up your wardrobe.
1. Check Certifications
Modern green initiatives not only seek to do tangible good when it comes to conservation and recycling efforts across the globe, but it also aims to help consumers weed out the companies that are not as committed to green initiatives as others. Sustainable fashion certifications such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) or Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) requires companies to uphold certain practices, such as the responsible sourcing of materials, ethical supply chain procedures and environmentally-friendly waste disposal methods.
Whether you’re purchasing moisture-wicking yoga pants or a pair of diamond stud earrings, look for sustainable certifications on the labels of garments or on company websites to ensure that your hard-earned dollars are going to a company that has demonstrated a commitment to green business procedures.
2. Investigate the Materials
Though many materials may seem like eco-friendly fabrics and goods, there are a number of seemingly harmless textiles that are surprisingly detrimental to the planet. Cotton, for example, can utilize a lot of the natural world’s resources. For example, in order to grow, harvest, process, dye and prepare for garment production. As well, synthetic fabrics are typically made from inorganic materials that cannot be properly recycled or reused.
As a rule, look for fabric options that boast a natural, organic or recycled label. Fabrics such as hemp, linen, organic cotton, bamboo, recycled polyester, sustainable vegan leathers, and responsibly-sourced wool all have a much smaller carbon footprint than alternative materials.
3. Buy Second Hand Fashion
Perhaps the simplest way to guarantee your wardrobe is stocked with eco-friendly pieces is to look to thrift stores. The manufacture and production of new fashion products can be incredibly resource-intensive every step of the way. For instance, from the farming of materials to transportation emissions of the shipping of goods. Used goods, on the other hand, place little to no strain on Mother Nature, which makes these items an excellent, eco-friendly fashion choice.
You don’t have to be a thrifting expert to find great used goods. Many resale marketplaces allow you to browse clothing items the same way you would any other clothing store. You will find that many of the pieces are often brand new and unworn, with the tags still attached.
4. Research Eco-Conscious Brands
Do you ever wonder if your favorite brand or fashion designer is environmentally minded? it’s a good idea to look into it. Many companies won’t admit to or display any harmful business practices on their websites. However, thanks to green fashion initiatives, they may be listed in a database among other companies that haven’t yet committed to greener procedures.
When it’s time to purchase a new article of clothing, take a moment to scan this list. make sure you’re doing business with a company that is not actively causing harm to local ecosystems, their laborers or to the atmosphere.
5. Download an App
For an even more convenient way to discover whether an item or brand is ethical, there’s an app for that. Head to the app store on your phone or other mobile device and look for programs. You want to research and compare different brands. In particular, different metrics that measure their commitment to sustainability in the fashion world. These apps usually feature lists of the best and worst companies. The goal is ethical and sustainable practices, which can nearly ensure that you make sound purchase decisions wherever you shop.
Author: Finnegan Pierson