Okay, so you have heard about this new ethical fashion craze and boy is it everywhere. Whether you have seen 100s of Instagram posts about artisan made jewelry or you have been reading about how fast fashion is bad for both humans and the environment, you are ready to take the plunge and put your money where your mouth (and heart) is in this movement as an Ethical Shopper.
After doing some research, you see that there are so many brands toting that they are ethical fashion and you begin to feel that you may have bit off a bit more than you can chew. How do you know they are telling the truth? How can you prove they are ethical?
All of this can seem very overwhelming, especially at first. Personally when I finally decided to go ‘clean’ and shop for only artisan, fair trade, and ethical products, it was confusing to decipher the difference between those words, let alone how they showed up in the market!
Fortunately for me, I had access to a very limited resource which was learning from my peers at work and working closely with artisans myself.
Fortunately for YOU, one of my passions is sharing this knowledge so that the whole process can be an easy transition instead of a kerfuffle of mixed messages and mis-information.
Here are 4 easy steps to help you get started on your path to ethical consumerism!
4 Easy Steps to Take to Become an Ethical Shopper
1. Wear/use what you have.
This first tip on how to be an ethical shopper is actually not to shop at all (Gasp!). This may sound counter-productive but finding ways to utilize your wardrobe or products you have already purchased help to push the slow fashion movement forward.
Even though I am not the biggest shopper, each season I have to fight the urge to want to throw out all my clothes and start from scratch.
But instead of a full overhaul every 6 months, altering clothes and finding new combos will keep more money in your pocket for when you see a pair of ethically made boots you just have to have later in the season. 🙂
2. Learn the lingo.
As I mentioned above, it wasn’t until I worked at a fair trade company for over a year did I even realize that Ethical, Fair Trade, and Artisan crafts were even referring to different things!
This just goes to show that these phrases are often interchangeable but it IS important to know the difference. The good news is I will be writing a post laying out the differences so you will be demystified soon!
3. Follow Ethical Bloggers.
While I am not typically a horn-tooter…toot. Joking aside, this is one of the most helpful tips as this isn’t only for following along on my blog, but other bloggers who have a similar style to you and/or live in your area.
These fashionistas will have the best insight for you so you do’t have to do all the research on brands, fact checking their validity and understand what they best products are.
Here I will focus more on shopping and products in general, so you will be able to spot ethically made products just as easy as scanning the tag or bottle in a few seconds.
4. Learn about a few techniques.
So this one may take a little bit of work but I promise this step will put you ahead of the curve from just knowing a few brands.
Small boutiques to even larger brands are catching on to the movement, but to convert a full product line does take work.
When customers understand the work and tradition behind their favorite products, it is easier to spot hand made vs. machine made in the market.
Not to mention, it’s always fun to learn a little be more about the culture a product comes from so you can share your insight with others when the compliments come rolling in. 😉
BONUS: Subscribe to this blog!
Okay, I did some shameless self promotion TWICE in the same posts, but signing up for the newsletter will definitely get you to check off the second step while also giving you instant access to ALL of my insight on how to be an informed ethical consumer.
If you are like me and you aren’t much of a shopper, these 4 easy steps will still come in handy on that day you have a fashion emergency in the near future and want to make sure you stay steady on your path to conscious and ethical consumerism.