Have you ever wondered how your clothing choices affect our society?
Fashion Checker surveyed several clothing brands and found that 93% of them don’t pay their garment workers a living wage. That means these individuals don’t have enough money for food, housing, healthcare, education, and other fundamental human rights.
Furthermore, check out this diagram by Sanvt showing how synthetic clothing hurts us and our environment:
If you’ve never thought about any of this stuff, you’re not alone. According to a study by KPMG,
“Although awareness of environmental issues is a concern for the vast majority of survey respondents globally, sustainable fashion has yet to take a similar hold on their thinking and shopping habits when it comes to buying clothing, shoes, and accessories.”
One reason for this is that many people simply don’t know how their fashion choices affect others or understand how to implement more sustainable practices. Below, we’ve laid out four ways that you can start building clothing habits that are kinder to people, animals, and our planet as a whole.
Did you know that in the United States, transportation accounts for about 28% of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions?
It’s like this: transportation uses a staggering amount of energy and pollutes our air, soil, and waterways. By purchasing from local brands, you reduce the need for long-distance distribution of products, a practice that significantly impacts climate change.
North Americans send ten million pounds of clothing to landfills every year, even though 95% of it could be reused or recycled. This wasteful practice clogs up our natural surroundings and creates a constant need for clothing production (most of which takes place in sweatshops that exploit their workers).
Refuse to be part of the problem. Put old clothes to good use by donating them to local charities or thrift stores.
You can get started today. Join our collaboration with Union Gospel Mission (UGM) to provide warm clothes to homeless people in Vancouver.
We've all been guilty of enjoying fast fashion. It’s cheap, easy to access, and looks great. However, these conveniences also make it easy to burn through tonnes of clothing during our lives without much thought.
Instead of buying cheap pieces that you’ll only wear a few times and then throw away, think of your clothing as an investment. Purchase high-quality items that will last a long time. Sure, you’ll pay more for them upfront, but you also will avoid having to replace them frequently. In the long run, that’s good news for your wallet and the environment.
Yep, you read that right!
There are apps that can help you shop sustainably.
For example, the Good On You app rates brands for their sustainability practices and gives you the ability to find ethical clothing labels worldwide. If a brand you like doesn’t cut it, you can use the app to locate better alternatives or reach out to the brand and ask them to make some positive changes.
Your Choices Have a Huge Impact
Now you have four simple ways that you can start building a more socially responsible wardrobe today.
Key takeaway: there is a human and environmental cost to everything that’s produced. Therefore, it’s important to be a mindful consumer.
Don’t beat yourself up if you’ve made less than optimal choices in the past. Instead, determine to make better-informed decisions going forward. You might not be able to make the switch overnight, but a single step taken one day at a time makes all the difference.