Consumer Guilt? Here’s How to Shop For Clothes More Ethically

Shopping for clothes is something we all enjoy, but have you ever considered the true cost of your fashion purchases? We all know our fashion choices have consequences, but very few of us stop to think about them when buying a new pair of shoes or trying on a coveted dress.  

The good news is that many recognised clothing labels are now making progress towards better conditions for garment workers abroad, including fairer wages and safer working environments. However, the move towards ethical fashion has only just begun, and there is still work to be done. To find out how you could help shape a more humane future for the fashion world, read these four tips.

Educate Yourself

First and foremost, it’s important to educate yourself. Read about the Bangladeshi factory collapse and its impact on clothing retailers. Research the effects that toxic effluents from clothing factories have on Chinese rivers. Finally, you can bookmark the Encouterre blog to stay up to date with sustainable apparel trends and green fashion events.

Start Small

You don’t have to boycott all your favourite shops, just do your research and find out which high street outlets are the most ethical. H&M, Mango, M&S, and even Primark are key players in the move toward more conscious clothing production, so pledge to shop more in these outlets. Charity shops and second-hand clothing stalls are also a great place to buy clothes, and it doesn’t make a difference which brand you wear – all the clothes are being recycled, which is as sustainable as it gets! Another tip is to look out for clothes swap shops in your area where you can trade good quality items for free.

Find a Cause to Support

Wouldn’t it be great if you knew that £100 you just shelled out on a new pair of shoes was going towards a humanitarian cause, rather than into the pockets of a huge corporation? Luckily, you can choose to shop more ethically. It may take you some time to research the most sustainable brands, and it might mean spending slightly more. However, these are small prices to pay for a fairer, more ecological future.

Where to Shop

If you’re looking for a cause to support, Beulah London is a luxury fashion brand toting the powerful tagline, “Freedom should never be a luxury.” The vision behind the brand is to eradicate modern slavery, abuse, and sex trafficking in less-developed countries, and every sale of one of their bespoke products contributes to their worthy cause. The Beulah Trust is the core of the company’s mission, providing grants that pay for skills courses and employment opportunities for women. The money goes towards giving those who have been enslaved, trafficked or abused the chance to live self-sufficiently and generate a more sustainable income.   

Shopping more consciously doesn’t just help shape the future – it helps to change the present. Although you can’t see it reflected in the shiny windows of your favourite high-street stores, your purchase decisions can have real consequences for workers around the world. So, if you want to make a change to the way the industry is run, it’s important to educate yourself on ethical apparel and shop sustainably whenever you can.