how to shop ethically

we know the information about the impact of the fashion industry is overwhelming and figuring out how to fight back against a billion dollar industry can create challenges that seem insurmountable, but you can only climb a mountain one step at a time.

break-up with fast fashion

your best weapon is to put your money where your mouth is. break-up with fast fashion brands like h&m, forever 21, urban outfitters, walmart, zara, nike… the list goes on unfortunately. trust us, we know break-ups hurt but it will be better for the world in the long run. instead, support businesses that are dedicated to ethical and sustainable fashion. our favorites are reformation, coco & ives, pact, lucy & yak and industry of all nations. there is an awesome app called good on you that helps you find brands that are eco and ethical!

shop locally

if there are no sustainable options available, then make sure to buy goods from developed nations like the united states, canada, and the united kingdom that have stricter regulations regarding the dumping of hazardous materials and higher standards for the ethical treatment of workers. whenever possible, shop locally through independent and small businesses. invest in quality goods that can be adapted over a lifetime to avoid clothing ending up in a landfill prematurely. i know a higher price tag can dissuade consumers from purchasing goods when there are cheaper options available but remind yourself that you’re not just paying for the garment itself, but you’re also investing in the ethical treatment of sewists and the future of our planet- sounds like a good payoff to me!

eco-friendly shipping

websites like amazon have trained consumers to recklessly order online and expect two day shipping, even giving options to break up bulk orders into individual packaging if it means quicker shipping. from the materials wasted in packaging, to the emissions of delivery freight vehicles, this type of mindless consumerism is so dangerous. order from companies that have sustainable shipping options, rebellelion uses eco-enclose compostable mailers (and bonus points since eco-enclose is a colorado local company!) choose companies that invest in environmentally conscious shipping practices like fed-ex which uses electric vehicles, solar powered shipping facilities, fuel smart freight transportation, and carbon neutral packaging. we also admire the sustainability efforts by etsy which offsets 100% of carbon emissions from shipping.

demand transparency

marketing has always adapted to consumer needs which means we have the power to influence companies to change their business practices to be more ethical and eco-friendly. don’t believe me? the body positivity movement largely popularized through everyday people on social media changed the way large businesses marketed their products. we were sick of seeing an impossible standard of beauty with only one type of body represented and began posting our own photos to showcase the diverse and beautiful range of human bodies. large corporations like american eagle and target took notice and began to actively include more diversity in their models from size, ethnicity, gender identity and disability. companies like dove and seventeen magazine ditched photoshop and airbrushing to appeal to consumers who wanted to see real representation. that’s something we the consumers demanded and corporations listened. pull back the veil on the companies you’re shopping from and let them know you’d like to see change, one spark can start a fire!

support garment workers globally

okay so you’re shopping secondhand, choosing businesses with ethical practices, supporting independent small business, and choosing eco-friendly shipping options- but what about all of the garment workers globally who are still subjected to awful conditions? the good news is there are some amazing organizations fighting diligently to help improve the lives of garment workers worldwide. donating and supporting organizations fighting for social justice can make a difference in the lives of millions! 

talk candidly about the impact of the fashion industry both environmentally and ethically with your friends and family. It can be difficult to convey all of this information fully and correctly, so we suggest watching the documentary, “the true cost” on netflix!