Shop Ethical Fashion with these Simple Steps

how to shop ethical fashion


Many of the biggest name brand clothing companies that we all recognise are considered ‘fast fashion’. Fast fashion is one of the most polluting industries and infamously known to exploit some degree of human labour.

The 2018 Ethical Fashion Report shows that globally about 24.9 million people are in forced labour exploitation and 152 million children are under labour.

You can fight the wasteful and unethical effects of fast fashion by making more conscious decisions in your clothing habits. Below are a few simple steps you can incorporate into your lifestyle to make an impact.


Support Brands that Are Ethical

Making a difference can be as simple as making sure that brands you purchase from operate under ethical practices. All that is required is doing a quick Google search before your next shopping trip.

Resources like the Ethical Fashion Guide are easily accessible online and companies are graded for any effort taken to avoid worker exploitation.

You’d be surprised to find some of the most common brands praised for sporting an ethical supply chain like Cotton On, Kathmandu and Patagonia.

Don’t forget to support your local businesses and boutiques! You can often find unique pieces that are handmade or produced locally. Alternatively, you can visit online marketplaces like Etsy where you can purchase handmade and vintage goods.


Invest in Fashion Staples

If you catch yourself being late to appointments because you can’t find an outfit, it’s likely because you don’t have enough staple pieces to throw a decent look together.

Fashion staples are clothing pieces that are versatile and will basically go with every look. You can avoid hoarding too many similar clothes by investing in timeless and quality staple items.

Some that fall under this bracket include black jeans, denim jackets, neutral-toned simple tops and coats for the colder seasons.

When deciding on fashion staples make sure you account for a variety of occasions to prevent any impulse buying. This could be categorised as daily wear, party attire and formal events.


Find a Tailor or Learn to Repair Your Clothes

Investing in a few quality fashion staples will definitely reduce the likeliness of wardrobe malfunctions. But if you find that your clothes have lost a button, been ripped or worn out hold the thought of abandoning them.

You can get your trouser legs shortened, zips fixed, seams mended and even clothes made better fit by visiting a tailor. Alternatively, if you are a hands-on type of person you can learn to do these yourself by buying the right appliances.  

Word of mouth seems to be the most convenient way to reach the most affordable tailors. Many are humble stores tucked away in suburban centres that do not have marketing channels online.

Ask people around and do your digging to get hooked up with the best and most affordable tailors convenient to your location.


Shop For Second Hand Clothing

Thrifting culture has made ‘hand me downs’ trendy and for the better! Buying second hand goods means being resourceful and sustainable because that money could have otherwise contributed to the fast fashion industry.

The truth is thrifting takes some patience to fall in love with because often times people are trying to find a diamond in a sea of clothes that are not meticulously categorised.

But the bigger truth is - it is so rewarding to score a clothing item you love for a fraction of the price of retail goods!

Search for your closest and biggest thrift stores for the best chances. You don’t even have to leave your house to thrift. Websites and mobile apps like Carousell and Depop are virtual marketplaces for second hand items. Time to get thrifting!

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