What You Say Yes to When You Shop Ethically
“As consumers, we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy.”
Empowering, isn’t it? When you realize that you have an influence, that you have power, and that you get to choose what to do with it . . . or maybe it’s intimidating? (Intimidatingly empowering? 😉)
Every dollar we spend is like casting a vote. If you want to make a statement about what you value most, money speaks louder than words, especially when it comes to corporations. Fast fashion has had too long of a run and franc-ly (pun intended), we want to see ethical fashion take the lead.
Every time you buy clothing that is ethically made, you’re saying YES to . . .
Everyone everywhere deserves to be paid a fair wage.
In Canada, our “fair” means a minimum wage to work up from and standards set in place to help ensure a safe work environment. Not all countries have standards in place to protect their employees. Dangerous working conditions with next to nothing wages are typically behind the scenes of fast fashion clothing companies. where fair trade labels are super handy. If clothing isn’t made locally, this label is the only way to truly tell that it is ethically made. A fair trade label shows that an organization has certified farmers and other producers to follow a set of standards that ensures safe working conditions, fair wages, and keeps the environment (even animal welfare) in mind. It takes a stand against discrimination, child-labour, and slavery. Clothing with a fair trade label—like Fairtrade International and B Corps—makes it easy to spot ethical fashion.
Sustainable for the planet
The fabrics used for clothing have an effect on the planet, starting with how it’s grown—or generated if synthetic—to the end when it’s breaking down. Choosing fabrics that are made from natural fibres—organic cotton, hemp, linen, or Tencel—are gentler on the planet. The organic farming process adds to the health of soil, ecosystems, and people instead of harming with the use of pesticides and GMOs; depending on the dying process, these fabrics are biodegradable.
It’s true. Quality clothing is more expensive. But it lasts longer than fast fashion regulars. So instead of replacing your basic tees every four to six months, it’s worth investing in quality basics that may have a higher price tag but will last longer. (Over here we talk about how we recommend taking care of clothing. Take a peek!)
Finding it tough to fit ethical clothing into your budget? We get that it takes time to get used to the price tag on ethically made clothes. Start slowly by investing in quality basics that you wear and replace most often. Also, there’s no shame in looking for alternatives to fit where you’re at. Keep it eco-friendly by swinging into your local thrift store or organize a clothing swap with your friends. Being creative about where you find the clothes you need is another way to beat fast fashion.
Supporting local businesses
When you buy clothing from local makers, your money empowers a business in your community, your clothing doesn’t travel so far to get to you, and they know the inside scoop on their product. They might even know the names of the people that make their clothes!
Speaking with your dollars is heard near and far when you support local businesses and brands that treat their farmers and workers fairly. Every piece of made-to-last clothing you buy gives the hands that made it a reason to keep going. And we think that is pretty darn empowering!
Written By Jade Paxton for FRANC