As the well-known downsides of fast-fashion continue to increase, more consumers are starting to look for sustainable options outside of large-chain retailers. Unfortunately, the economies of scale can often lead to higher price points (via The Good Trade). But there are plenty of ways to remove your business from supply chains that include underpaid workers and damage the planet. Especially when you consider that 60% of the garment waste an average American produces per year doesn’t break down in landfills, it’s easy to recognize that it’s time for a change (via MoneyCrashers).
The best way to transition to a sustainable wardrobe collection is to start one piece at a time. Often made with higher-quality materials and less dependence on cheap labor, ethically-made clothing will likely cost more than your average shirt from your local retailer. With that in mind, consider starting with investment pieces like coats, jackets, jeans, or shoes that will last a long time.
Start by doing your research and finding brands that meet your standards of ethical responsibility and sustainability. Check out your favorite companies and look for information on where their garments come from, who their workers are and how much they’re paid. You might be shocked by a few of these numbers, so keep them in mind when you research various ethical brands.
Find brands that fit your style and budget
There are also plenty of companies that offer lower prices and ethical manufacturing like Pact, Boden, and Alternative Apparel (via The Good Trade). You can also try apps like Good On You that do the work for you when researching brands that make a difference; there’s even a tool that directs you to other similar brands based on what you’ve searched. Good On You offers a search bar that scores different apparel companies on categories like human rights, animal rights, and sustainability.
You can also go thrifting for a conscious alternative to shopping for new clothes. Check out local stores and vintage shops to go another sustainable route by reusing unique items that won’t break the bank (via Verily). Plus you get the added benefit of your clothes being one-of-a-kind. You can also talk to your friends and set up a group where you borrow each other’s clothes for work, play, and big events. Recycling various looks can keep your wardrobe fresh and sustainable!
The bottom line is that any move in a sustainable direction is worthwhile. So, even if you decide to just switch out your underwear supply, know that you’re making a difference!
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