We know that shopping for ethical fashion can be confusing. It seems everywhere you look a brand is saying something ‘green’, ‘ethical’ or ‘sustainable’ about their clothing. But how can you know which brands to trust?
We’re here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that hard. Making use of our team’s experience in sustainable fashion, we’ve created an ethical fashion shopper’s checklist that you can carry around in your pocket. Pop this list out whenever you’re considering a purchase, and you’ll have a simple system for making sure your dollars are going to the right places.
HOW TO USE 'THE ETHICAL FASHION SHOPPER'S CHECKLIST'
Before getting into the checklist, here’s a bit of background on how to use this tool.
FINDING VALUABLE INFORMATION ON A BRAND
The first step in checking out the ethical credentials of a brand – visit the company website (aka google it!) Any brand that practices what they preach will have information on their website explaining environmental and social practices.
For example, if you wanted to learn more about TAMGA’s sustainability practices you can find more information here.
If you can’t find the information you’re looking for on the brand’s website, then don’t be shy, shoot them off an email with all your questions! Most ethical and sustainable brands not only welcome questions but are excited to talk to you about what makes their brand sustainable. Every brand is different but here’s our golden rule: if you’re not satisfied with the information or answers you get, don’t buy it.
WHY ETHICAL SHOPPING MATTERS
Ethical shopping matters for a number of environmental and human rights reasons. Because of intense competition for fashion that’s cheap and on-trend (so-called ‘fast fashion), many brands and garment factories have pushed labour conditions to extremes. Lives have been lost and issues like child labour, slavery and abuse are still commonplace in the production of fashion. Ethical labour conditions mean that workers are paid fairly for their work and have policies in place protecting their well-being – like paid overtime, freedom from abuse, and safe working conditions. For TAMGA’s code of conduct and list of factories, click here.
From an environmental perspective, there are many reasons to shop ethically. It’s estimated that between 80 and 100 billion pieces of clothing are produced annually, leading to an incredible amount of harmful chemicals in waterways, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and the destruction of valuable ecosystems.
Needless to say, it’s worth seeking out eco-friendly materials and opting for fabrics like TENCEL™ which comes from sustainably grown eucalyptus wood, a renewable resource that doesn’t compete for land with food crops. To learn more about the fabrics and dyes that TAMGA uses for our ethical women’s clothing click here.
OTHER RESOURCES TO LEARN ABOUT SUSTAINABLE FASHION
Fashion Revolution is a great resource to learn more about sustainable fashion. Their mission is to unite people and organizations to work together towards radically changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed.
Good On You: This organization takes out all the guesswork in shopping sustainable fashion. Good On You uses a recognized and trusted ethical rating system that offers advice and information on popular fashion companies around the world. You can download their app to discover ethical fashion brands and search your own favourite brands to see their rating.
Remake: Remake is a nonprofit that is igniting a conscious consumer movement to turn fashion into a force for good. They share facts and stories to help you break up with fast fashion and provide seasonal curated collections to remake your closet with fashion that respects women and planet.
Screen Shot Worthy: THE ETHICAL FASHION SHOPPER'S CHECKLIST
Screenshot or save this checklist on your phone and you’ll be shopping sustainable fashion confidently in no time!