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Equipping Consumers for Ethical Purchases
Aeropostale, crafts, Ethical Consumer's Buyers' Guides, Ethical Fashion, Fast Fashion, Forever 21, good.is, GoodGuide, GoodGuide Purchase Analyzer, Hershey's, Humane Connection, KYE, Phillip Morris, printers, Toys R Us, Urban Outfitters, Victoria's Secret
So you know what ethical fashion is—now what? As consumers, our knowledge of the problem should lead us toward finding a solution. Here’s a round up of tools and information to help you refine your shopping habits.
How to Kick the Fast Fashion Habit: This article gives you 9 easy steps to help you rethink your wardrobe. Here’s my favorite:
Get crafty: Once you’ve started valuing your clothes more, start treating them better. Don’t mix your colors in the washing machine; skip the dryer and line dry instead; hang delicate embroideries and beadwork inside-out. Then, filter your closet to identify items that need some work, and tackle one new project a week. Start small: Learn how to sew a button back on that blazer you haven’t worn in six months. If you’re feeling experimental, pick out a new set of buttons (even mismatching ones) and update that old shirt. Click around YouTube to find some instructional videos to help you update old items in ways you never knew existed. And if an item is beyond repair, tuck it away for future elbow patches—even those can be sewn by hand.
Ethical Consumer’s Buyers’ Guides are a great way to find out more about different types and brands of products. You can even customize the ratings based on your consumer priorities. (Two drawbacks: It’s a UK-based site so some of the brands don’t carry over. A few of the product types seem to only be available for paying subscribers.) My printer is on the fritz, so it’s good to learn that Lexmark’s the way to go when people are your most important ethical focus.
According to 2 New Tools for More Ethical Shopping at the Humane Connection, Purchase Analyzer allows you to:
- • create a filter with up to 12 different categories, based on what’s important to you, from fragrance free to animal welfare to climate change to organic to fair trade.
• sync up recent online purchases from stores like Amazon.com, and Safeway.com.
• get a score that evaluates your recent purchases based on your filter.
• get recommendations for different products that may be more aligned with your values, as well as suggestions for saving money.
5 Giant Companies Who Use Slave Labor. These are some companies to watch out for. The article explains its grounds for accusations against each company. As a consumer, read and digest the information—it’s easy to fall into fear-mongering generalizations, but this information is valuable in helping you make proactive, positive choices. As a reader, I’m bothered by the negative, sarcastic, opinionated tone that this article takes toward companies, but it presents valuable information—so I chose to toss out the negativity and use what I learn to create my own path toward positive, ethical fashion.
Melissa loves merging her passions for writing and for helping provide restoration for exploited people. She graduated from Miami University with a degree in Adolescent English Education and is a former middle school language arts teacher. She now works full time as an editor. Melissa has visited Freeset in Kolkata, India.
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