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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | August 9, 2020

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3 practical tips to shop ethically

3 practical tips to shop ethically
Bianca Aniceto

I didn’t care much about shopping ethically or buying ethical clothes until the summer of 2019 – and considering we’re in May, it wasn’t long ago I made that decision to stop purchasing fast-fashion clothing.

Why did it take me so long to make that change? Was purchasing another cute top for $5.00 going to really do that much harm to the current situation?

The answer to that last question is yes. Many of us are still contributing to the fast fashion industry and the issues alongside it. So how do we change practically and where do we begin? Over my short span of deciding to shop ethically, I’ve found a few tips and tricks that I’d love to share with you so can begin your own ethical shopping journey.

  1. Do. Your. Research. 

Girls, guys – seriously do your research! What made me change my mind about buying fast fashion was solely based upon the research I forced myself to do. Fast fashion has so many negative implications that affect our body, our health, the environment and not to mention the health and safety of others. The chemicals in those clothes – ew, they’re nasty! They ultimately end up taking a toll on your body because you’re essentially poisoning it. If it harms your body when you wear it, then imagine how much more harmful it is to your body for someone else who’s making it and exposed to those chemicals 8-12 hours a day. So be educated and do your research.

I came across an app on my phone called Good On You and it truly changed my shopping experience. If you’re unsure which everyday brands are doing the right thing or not then download this app. It’ll give all the information you need to know in a matter of seconds. They analyse the brand’s impact on the environment, animals and their labour standards. If the brand you love isn’t doing great in either of those sections you also have an option to send them a little encouragement to do so from Good on You app.  Good on You also provides you with ethical brand options who are relatively similar or inspired by fast-fashion brands. Better yet the app is free too!

Baptist World Aid Australia also produce a yearly report on fashion labels – giving them grades based on the label’s effort to minimise the risks of forced labour, child labour, and worker exploitation.

Once you see the negative effects of fast fashion you’ll feel motivated to leave it all behind!

2. Second-hand stores are your new best friend 

Just because you’re on your new path of ethical shopping doesn’t mean you need to chuck out your current wardrobe. Reuse your clothes as much as you can. Better yet, go to second-hand stores and see what pieces of treasure you might be able to find.

If you’re a fan of online shopping as much as I am, then don’t fear! There are plenty of online spaces for you to shop for second-hand clothes. Take a look at Facebook Marketplace – that’s where the real gold is. Some of my most beloved outfits or staples were found on Facebook Marketplace check it out:

The spotty playsuit, the white linen dress and my black leather jacket all came from Facebook Marketplace. You can even join For Sale Groups if you’re invested into a particular style or brand. Other second-hand items can be bought on apps like Depop.

3. Start with the staples 

So, you’ve done your research and you’ve located all the places you’re going to shop next – so what now? Well, begin with buying the staple pieces. Buying the basics will slowly help you transition into shopping ethically. Start with a basic white tee, then a black tee, jeans, a jacket, and so on. Starting small will you seamlessly get into the habit of wearing ethical clothing, every day!

There you have it – my top three tips to get you started on your ethical clothing journey. Don’t forget that you’re changing the world piece by piece. Happy shopping!