A Guide to Shopping With Sustainability & Ethics in Mind

Source: Cam Morin


Shopping With Sustainability

Shopping With Sustainability Even if you’re committed to making sustainable and ethical choices in other areas of your life, it can be particularly hard to make the switch to shopping for fashion this way. Chances are, there are a few brands you’ve been sticking with for a while, and you may not want to say goodbye to your favorite looks, even if they’re not the most sustainable ones. This is completely understandable. Many people rely on fashion for confidence and self-expression.


Making the switch to ethical and sustainable fashion can be a challenge, but it will lead to a more modern wardrobe and better conscience. To design your personal ethical shopping strategy, use any one or more of the following tips.


Shop Local

Photo by Bart Jaillet


Shopping With Sustainability Clothing sourced from Asia, Africa, and other locations abroad are often cheaper, but the lower cost can reflect lower-quality and even dangerous working conditions for those who make the clothing.


In 2013, a Bangladeshi building containing multiple clothing factories collapsed, killing more than a thousand people. The building owners had ignored warnings about cracks in the building.


When you shop local, you know what workplace standards are being enforced – the same ones that would be enforced at your workplace. Additionally, garments that are made and sold locally have a much smaller carbon footprint than those shipped across the sea.


Dig Into The Company’s Manufacturing Process

In an effort to satisfy modern customers, many big companies, including luxury labels, have started to explain their manufacturing processes in detail. European fashion brand Marcellamoda and eyeglass brand Cuscuz are two great examples of this commitment towards transparency, including sections on their websites to explain their manufacturing processes.


Ideally, the brand you’re looking at will have their company ethics and sustainability information on their About Page. If not, you can always try looking up the brand on sites like Good On You or calling the brand hotline directly to ask.


Research The Fabric Used

Does the brand you’re looking at use sustainable materials such as bamboo, organic cotton, hemp, silk, recycled fabric, or sustainably-sourced wool? Or does it use synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon, which lead to fossil fuel emissions and the creation of microplastic waste?


Even if a fabric is cruelty-free and non-synthetic, its treatment or dye process can still result in pollution. That pollution may not affect your city or country, but it could be destroying someone else’s homeland abroad. Research the types of fabric used by your brand to make sure that no one’s environment is being hurt by your purchase.


Go Minimalist

If you’re the kind of shopper who tends to put quantity over quality, it might be time to turn that habit on its head. The more clothes you purchase, the more pieces you will end up having to throw out. When you’re looking at a new item, ask yourself this question: will I wear this more than twenty times?


When you’re planning for dressy events, in particular, it’s easy to reach for the beautiful statement dress that you’ll only wear once or twice. If you’d like to commit to sustainability, however, then you should change the way you look at both casual clothing and formalwear and find more versatile and minimalistic pieces.


Donate Used Clothes To Reputable Companies

Photo by Dan Gold


Once in a while, you’ll need to say goodbye to some of your clothing. When you do, make sure your items go to companies that will upcycle or rehome your clothing responsibly. You’d be surprised at how many donated clothes actually end up in the trash.


The way we consume products has a lot to do with the direction of climate change and ethical production worldwide. It’s time to create a wardrobe that makes you feel good, inside and out.




Catalina Magee

Founder / Owner of Trend Prive Magazine. Romanian-born American, "seasoned" in Italy, "cooked" in Germany and currently serving in Israel. NCIS Special Agent in Charge EA.

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