Fast fashion and the brands that have grown thanks to unethical and often illegal practices have had a devastating impact on the environment, but also on the preservation of basic human rights. Hazardous working conditions, low wages, child labor, all the way to the use of toxic dyes and other chemicals, brands that produce the world’s largest portion of wearables are making irreparable damage to our planet and our health.
To fight this global trend, slow fashion and ethical accessory brands have started emerging faster than ever before. New, updated policies have been introduced to track and measure the impact of all brands within the industry. The combination of customer awareness and brand values are now reshaping our consumerism ways. If you’re eager to join the movement by making more eco-conscious purchases when enriching your fashion and accessory collection, here are a few tips to help you get there.
Digital tools that help source the garment
Much like you can use a range of smartphone apps to learn about food quality and the sustainability level of chemicals in certain cleaning products, modern software developers are rapidly coming up with diverse solutions that help in beauty, fashion, and accessories, too.
For instance, you can use an app to find out whether a certain brand belongs in the ethical batch or if you should look for an alternative. Then again, the global initiative to boost circular economy in fashion will enable a whole new take on this industry, and more brands are joining in. Over time, we can expect more similar, digitally empowered ideas to come to life and make it easier for us to discover the sources of everything we wear.
Look for reputable certifications
When you discover a brand that seems to fit your preferred style, you can dig a little deeper to see if the brand has earned specific certifications. For example, brands that produce b corporation jewelry meet the highest ethical and sustainability standards in every aspect of their business. From their supply chain, employee standards, all the way to manufacturing standards, the b corporation distinction shows a brand’s dedication to ethics and sustainability.
This and other certifications can help you discern between brands in fashion and accessories that meet your ethical goals. More brands are also practicing greater transparency, making it much easier to learn about their processes directly on their sites.
Check out ethical brand directories
Ever since the world has moved to the online realm, we have been able to find the most elusive bits of information in a matter of clicks. Add to that, there are dedicated ethical experts out there continuously researching brands in fashion, accessory creation, but also beauty and other industries.
Fortunately for all of us, you can research these directories and easily find brands that qualify as cruelty-free, vegan, ethical, non-toxic, and fair labor, among other distinctions. It helps to research specific brands, but if you’re patient, you can read through the directories and find brands you can afford or find in local stores.
Tailor-made is the way to go
Custom-made clothing and original jewelry made specifically for you both have the power to elevate your confidence and help you express yourself more authentically. The core benefit of tailored things, however, is that you always know precisely who has made the piece you’re wearing. These items tend to be far more durable, fitting, and purposeful than store-bought.
What’s crucial to remember is that you also need to learn about the material and its source. If your tailor will use cotton or wool – is it locally sourced? Can you trace it back to the original manufacturer? What about the metals and other items used in making customized jewelry? Take your time to discover this information, otherwise your tailor might just unwittingly contribute to unethical fashion or accessory production.
The system as it stands today is far from perfect. Most consumers still choose to buy blindly, without thinking about the source of the fabric, the dye, or the people who’ve made the garment. To make shopping more sustainable and phase out the fast fashion mindset, we’ll need to start taking better care of the clothes and accessories we already own, but we’ll also need to shop with care. Considering the listed options, it’s becoming more convenient to track our items’ origins than ever before – so what are you waiting for?