As consumers, we have the power to encourage brands to improve their practices - we vote with our attention, likes & tags on IG and most of all, we vote with our money.
Below is a list of my favourite sustainable & ethical fashion resources and a short practice for you to do which will set you up to continue your own journey to becoming a values-oriented consumer.
I'm hoping this blog post will be a resource for you on your own journey to becoming a values-oriented consumer in the way that feels right for you.
I'd love to hear how you go!
Values-oriented fashion resources
Second Hand & Vintage
Collectives of values-oriented brands
Independent Values oriented Brands
AUS Nelson Made
UK & CANADA https://mayarico.com/impact-ethics/
UK based. Roots in Kenya. B corp certified. https://www.yalajewellery.com/
Practice for Becoming a values-oriented consumer
Get clear in your top 3 personal values.
Being clear in your goals will motivate you to keep taking aligned action. Nothing is right or wrong here, it's about what truly matters to YOU.
Stop reading this - close your eyes and take a few deep breaths into your belly and ask yourself what TRULY matters to me the most in becoming a more conscious consumer?
Here's some examples of my ones but yours might be different:
ETHICS - How are the workers treated? Are they paid a fair wage? Are their garments priced reasonably? Does this business take into account their social and environmental impact?
COMMUNITY/SOCIAL IMPACT - How does this business impact the broader community? Consider both their internal business community (which might be harder to find out about) and the effect that their marketing campaigns have on the broader community e.g. do they use a diverse range of models and promote and empowering image of beauty? What do they stand for?
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT - What impact is this business having on the environment? Consider: Do they try to reduce their waste, do they choose more sustainable fabric options, do they use recycled packaging?
Start by researching your current favourite brands.
Then also search for new brands that align with your values.
You might be pleasantly suprised that some of your old favourites are doing a great job already, and you might find that you can switch your support to new brands who are.
3. How to check if a brand is 'really' sustainable?
Transparency is key.
The best way to know if you can trust that a brand is really 'sustainable' is to see how much they share about their process and what actions they are taking as well as what their vision and story is.
Trust your own evaluation - If a brand says they are sustainable but you receive your products in a mass of plastic packaging or if they claim to be 'inclusive' and 'promoting women's empowerment' but only using one type of model in their advertising.. maybe they're not walking their talk.
Start a conversation - Don't just go somewhere else, if you ask questions and tell the brands you love that you want them to support your values, maybe they'll change! We need to hold each other accountable and help each other grow towards better practice.