Leah Wise from StyleWise shares 5 tools to help us shop ethically.
Over the past year, the ethical community has (thankfully) started to organize itself in a way that makes it abundantly easier to shop for stylish, affordable goods that are sourced responsibly. When I started writing about conscious consumerism in late 2012, I remember looking far and wide for ethical things that fit my sense of style and being largely disappointed. I fumbled around for awhile trying to regroup, often settling for good enough instead of items that expressed who I wanted to be sartorially.
No more! Not only are there hundreds of ethical brands, you can actually find them! While Instagram is a great place to start, it can be time consuming and people don’t always use hashtags appropriately. Luckily, there are a few, more sophisticated options that lower the threshold to entering the ethical fashion movement.
They come in many forms, but they all accomplish one thing: make shopping easier so we can all work together to make life better.
1.¬†Project JUST began with one goal in mind: to give consumers access to the information they need to make a better choice. From defining jargon to giving thorough sourcing information for around a hundred prominent brands, Project JUST is a great place to learn about the conscious consumer movement and figure out more about the common brands you love. UPDATE: the site has closed.
2. Australia-based Good On You is an app and website dedicated to parsing out the ethical details of as many brands as possible. They employ hundreds of volunteer researchers and try to add a few new brands every week, in addition to writing 2-3 informative blog posts. I particularly like their roundups on types of clothing, like¬†denim¬†and¬†activewear. Good On You is expanding to North America as soon!
3. Just launched, Done Good is a Browser Extension that alerts you whenever you’re on a page that contains an ethical product. They’ll also give you exclusive discount codes for ethical companies when they’re available.
4. Ethical fashion retailer,¬†Bead & Reel, just launched their ethical consignment store and I’m pumped! I’ve found that once I have the opportunity to wear or use an ethical item, I can justify the expense. But it’s hard to pull the trigger on high priced, ethically sourced goods online when you can’t thoroughly inspect the item for quality and longevity. By offering gently used goods at a lower price point, you can buy it and see if it works for you, and then maybe invest in the brand at full price further down the road.
Learn how to sell¬†here. Note: vegan, organic items only.
5. Founded by blogger, Grechen of Grechen’s Closet, SLOWRE offers gently used goods from ethical, domestically produced, and small designer labels. The concept is similar to The Rescued Collection, but goods do not have to be vegan and the aesthetic leans more toward edgy minimal. I bought an Everlane dress from SLOWRE and it arrived like-new.¬†Learn how to sell¬†here.
Each time I shop, I use a combination of the above resources to find the best option. I prefer to buy secondhand when possible, so it’s a bonus if I can buy an ethically sourced item from an ethical retailer. Smart, easy-to-use resources are the key to gaining more traction in this industry, so I’m glad I can rely on the research, expertise, and curation of others to keep the momentum going.
For more on ethical fashion and living, visit Leah‚Äôs¬†StyleWise¬†blog.¬†