Today marks the middle of November and with that many eyes will be turning towards the holidays. Ideas, plans, and yes, gifts. Gift-giving can be daunting for some and inspiring for others. But it can be ethical and intentional for all of us, even when you inevitably give your aunt a scarf.
Often when it comes to the concept of shopping for clothing ethically, many of us have the best intentions. But the amount of effort, time, and willpower it would take to match those intentions escapes us.
Many of us don't even know where to start.
We fall into the available excuses: "it’s too expensive to shop from sustainable companies,” “I need to try it on and those businesses only exist online,” or “those brands don't make clothes that would fit me.” Then we run off to Zara, H&M, or Target anyway, because it is cheap and convenient. When really we just don't know which companies to trust.
Generally we fall back on these justifications without having actually made any effort to look for sustainable alternatives. We genuinely lack time and money, as well as offhand knowledge of sustainable brands.
With the knowledge that fashion is the second largest industrial polluter behind oil it is necessary to change and to make that change easier for folks.
The most sustainable option is to not shop at all, but beyond that lofty ideal, the next is to shop responsibly.
Lucky for us, it’s never been easier or more accessible to shop for clothing consciously.
One option is to use an app like Good On You. This is a free app that reviews fashion brands on their ethics. They ask the questions of “How Ethical is Anthropologie?” or “7 Alternatives to that Zara Dress” so that way you don’t have to go hunting for it yourself. It allows you to quickly search your favorite brands and see their ratings in areas such as labor standards, environmental impact, and animal rights.
This empowers you to easily decide which clothing company you want to financially support.
And if you find that you don’t like what you are reading there, scroll down. Good On You will show you similar brands, in a similar price range, that are more ethical. Scroll down further and you will see that the app has empowered you to easily include your voice. To tell the companies you love that you are happy with the initiatives they are taking or that you want them to do better.
How can YOU get involved? Simple!
Level #1: Share with our community! Share a brand, a practice you've implemented, or any other tip to help us be more responsible when buying this holiday season. Sharing knowledge with your community is the quickest and easiest way to promote change.
Level #2: Educate and empower yourself! Download the Good on You app or read one of the articles cited below. Share what you find with your friends and family! (check out the video above to see how the app works.)
Level #3: Have that knowledge influence your decisions financially. That is the best way to let brands know what you care about -- vote with your dollar.