Ethical fashion is definitely something I have become a lot more conscious of in the past few months. I have spoken about it on the blog multiple times in posts such as What is Ethical Fashion? & What To Do With Your Unethical Items?. It has been so enlightening to learn about where my clothes come from and what I am contributing towards every time I purchase something.
Sustainability is also a big one. The fabrics our clothes are made of impact our planet immensely. Whilst writing my “What is eco-fashion” post I was so shocked to see how much clothes production can damage our earth and sometimes even our health.
Enough with this introduction. Let’s go straight to the point. Shopping ethically is not easy. I have a whole blog post on How To Shop Ethically, and I truly believe and use those methods to buy clothes. However, even though I would like to shop 100% ethically, there are times when I find myself in a situation where I really struggle to do so and I thought I would share them with you:
➱ I need something last minute. Sometimes I need a particular clothing item for an event or a fancy dress party but don’t necessarily have time to shop around charity shops hoping to find it, or don’t have time to way for that Depop delivery. Although I love charity shops, you never know if you are going to find what you need.
➱ I can’t afford it. Recently I have been on the hunt for nice swimwear. I am going on holiday soon and need one or two bikinis (I currently have none). I would love to be able to afford well-made, sustainable and ethical swimwear but unfortunately that is just waaaay out of my budget. To be honest, I can barely afford the really cheap ones in the high-street. Same goes for workout clothes, I will be writing a post about it soon, but buying ethical sports gear can be a challenge when you are on a student budget.
What do I do?
At this point in my life it is very difficult to be a completely ethical consumer. But there are a couple of things I do to ensure I am trying my best.
➱ Reduce Consumerism: I have simply reduced the amount of clothes I buy. For the past couple of years I’ve definitely become more of a minimalist not only in terms of clothes but possessions in general. Making sure I only have clothes I really enjoy wearing and fit within my style makes me feel much more confident. And if I am confident with what I have I don’t have the need to be looking around for the next bargain.
➱ Research your high-street brands: there are beautiful ethical brands out there but if you find they are just out of your budget no matter how much you try then research high-street brands. Go on their websites and find out about their ethics. The most popular brands might not be the best such as Topshop, River Island, etc. But have a look at Fat Face, they have a great sustainability programme and ethical trade initiatives, along side Patagonia, Eco shoes and many other brands. I have recently purchased a jumper from H&M conscious line. H&M is not considered an ethical brand but I did some research on their conscious line and even though only 60% of the product was made of recycled cotton, I believe that by supporting their concious range we can encourage the company to work towards a more ethical path and at the same time get a more sustainable piece of clothing. I am also very interested in their recycling initiative, which I will definitely be looking into.
Let me know in the comments what struggles you face when trying to be an ethical consumer and what you do to overcome those. Also, please share your favourite ethical brands, I am always looking out for great brands to follow. Thank you so much for reading. Lots of love,