In the past few years, sustainability has been in the spotlight, as consumers get smart and demand more ethical working conditions, environment-friendly production standards and an overall increase in sustainable measures in industries across the board.
Documentaries like The True Cost and The Machinists, and ethical fashion bloggers like Jen Brownlie, and Natalie Smith have done much to shed light on the desperate need for reform and caused many consumers to start asking the question, “What human rights issues are my dollars supporting?”
So, if you’ve recently started down the journey of living a sustainable life, here a few tips to get you by… because as you may have already discovered, it’s not as easy or as cheap as you may have thought.
5 Tips To Create An Ethical Closet, Even On A Budget
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Ah, yes, the golden rule. ;-) You’ve probably heard this a billion times before, but all for good reason! There is much meaning held in this little 3-word phrase.
An essential part of an ethical closet is having fewer, high quality items that you love. Believe it or not, when our closets are over-packed with junk we have a harder time putting together outfits and often resort to buying new pieces for lack of not knowing what’s already in there! Reducing your clothes-clutter will help you see what you already have and what you value most. This will give you a good base to start your ethical closet journey.
When shopping, remember the “Reuse” part of this slogan.
1. Will you wear this potential buy at least 30 times? If the answer is no, put it down and walk away. Fast fashion wants to make you think that you need to buy the latest everything. How many of us are guilty of buying something only to never even wear it once?! It is far to better to buy one nice piece that you adore and will wear over and over again then to buy 10 pieces you might wear only once.
2. Go thrifting! A result of the fast fashion phenomena is way too many clothes in waste piles, thrift stores and rotting away in piles of “donations.” (Donations that, by the way, are RUINING economies of other countries!) There is simply too many used clothes and not enough people that want them. If you can’t afford to buy a brand new outfit from a sustainable brand, hit up your local thrift store and try to find some goodies there.
The world can’t keep growing cotton and producing more clothes. Eventually, we’re going to have to take a good long look at recycling our fabric.
**ALL credit for the DIY roundup and pictures goes to the projects respected owners. 1. Gina Michele 2. DIY Projects 3. DIY & Crafts 4. Hearth & Vine 5. Galletita de Jengibre 6. Christmas Decoration Ideas For Kids
4. The Pyramid Rule: 3 Steps To An Ethical Closet
Let’s simplify this whole journey and break it down into 3 simple guidelines you can follow to create a more ethical closet, even on a budget.
Step One: Love what you have.
The bottom row is the largest one; this is your foundation and the action you should take the most often. Simply, start by valuing what you already have (and taking care of it.) Before you go out and buy a billion new ethical pieces, start by getting in the habit of taking care of the clothes you have. This will help you when it comes down to shopping and encourage you to pick out pieces you will only love 100% and get good use out of.
Step Two: Always Thrift First.
If you need a new piece of clothing, hit up local thrift stores and see if you can find something you love there. If not, move on to step three…
Step Three: When It’s Time To Buy, Support Ethical Brands.
When it is time to purchase new items, chose ethical brands that you love. Do a little research and find out how and where brands are making their clothes. Then, pick out a few items that you absolutely LOVE and know you will wear for a long time.
5. Do Your Homework
It might not be the most exciting thing on your to-do list, but taking some time to research what’s behind your purchases will empower you to be the savvy shopper this planet needs.
Develop a list of sustainable brands you love. This way, when it is time to shop, you already know where to go. (And probably already have a wish-list developing.)
Make a list of personal do’s and don’ts. Do you have moral standards you’re dedicated to following while you shop? Make a list of what’s most important to you. You might be dedicated to shop from brands where you KNOW beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt child labour wasn’t used. OR, you might be dedicated to purchasing only vegan goods. Make a list of what’s most important to you and be dedicated to following it no matter the circumstances.
Do your current favorites make the mark? Are you a Target fanatic? Love H&M? Bath & Body Works more your jam? Now that you’re an EDUCATED shopper, do your current favorites line up with your shopping standards? If not, it’s time to toss them until they come around with more ethical options! THIS is how true change begins: with you.
So, as 2018 is just around the corner, let’s all put “become a more ethical shopper” at the top of our resolutions list. No matter your budget, we simply can’t afford to miss this opportunity.
Did you like this post? Pin it for later!