Even as a casual shopper, you may be contributing to the problem way more than you think.
The problem, according to most environmentalists, is fast fashion.
The growing surplus of cheap clothing is creating havoc across the world.
From piling up landfills to underpaid workers and poor working conditions such as the factory that collapsed in Bangladesh, this cycle is taking a toll on the earth’s resources.
One of the easiest ways to shop consciously is to do it at a thrift store. Sadly, many people stay away from thrift stores merely because of the time and effort involved in sorting through crowded piles and racks. It shouldn’t be intimidating. Focus on the bigger picture.
Skip polyester clothes and look for quality fabrics like cotton, suede and wool. You will also be able to find many jeans, jackets and sweaters. There will always be a store that ends up becoming your favorite.
If you prefer going for brand new clothes and the nearest options is a mall, consider researching your options online.
There are plenty of stores that don’t just use environmentally friendly materials and processes to manufacture clothes, but also ensure friendly labor practices. The best part? Since all ethical fashion brands are environmentally conscious, you can find really affordable, quality clothing products on these stores.
You can’t really shop for quality clothing if you don’t know what you are looking for. Try to learn as much about clothing as you can in general. Where do the raw materials come from? What are the procedures involved in manufacturing? What should you look for in terms of quality? What do the different signs and symbols indicate?
If you have any small clothing retailers nearby, buy from them instead of larger chains. Ask them where their materials are sourced from and also tell them what they can do reduce their carbon footprint. Apart from everything else, you’ll feel good buying from a local business.