Fashion With Feeling: Look Good While Doing Good

5 July 2017

In recent years, the world has become a very different place. Now, more people than ever have started caring about the world around them. As the Internet connects people, it’s becoming easier to see that humans are all the same. For some, this promotes the need to help others in every aspect of the life. If you fall into this category, this post may just be for you. It will be going through some (not all) of the best ways to make sure that the clothing you wear is good for the world and the people in it, and, will also be giving you some inspiration to try new options.

Woman on Gray Shirt Caring African Child With Gray Shirt

A helping hand
To start with this effort, it’s a good idea to look at the impact products have on the people that make them. Thanks to lighter laws, cheaper taxes, and much more affordable employment, a lot of companies choose to make goods in other countries. This is great for business, as it keeps all of the prices down. But, for the people making the products, it can cause a lot of issues. In the areas that these workers live, you will often find a lot of military activity. Of course, this activity isn’t from a government. But, instead, it’s organisations who want to profit from the people around them. This will often lead to child and slave labour. Most companies are happy to advertise the fact that their goods are conflict free. So, when you’re shopping for clothing, you should be sure to avoid options which don’t state this. Only through boycotting clothing will conflict caused by its production end.

Once the conflict and danger have been taken out of a place, it’s time to start looking for ways to make security more permanent for the residents. A lot of people have the knowledge to farm and grow their own food. But, unfortunately, the equipment required to get started is far too expensive. To get around this issue, companies like DAINO have started finding ways to give something back. When you buy a pair of their wooden sunglasses, five trees will be planted to feed the locals who grew the original product. This gives you the chance to give something back, while also wearing a unique accessory.

abstract, black-and-white, cardigan sweater

Being responsible
Of course, there’s not much point in planting trees and other materials if it isn’t done responsibly. A lot of companies don’t care about their environmental impact. Instead, they will use all of the resources they need to create their clothing. In a lot of cases, this results in fossil fuels being used to create new items. Along with this, being irresponsible will also affect the locals in an area. For example, growing and harvesting too much cotton will eventually damage the land. Once the plants can’t be grown, the locals will have to find a new space to make their money. A company like Alternative Apparel is a great example of a responsible brand. Their products are made from 70% renewable resources. And, they sell all sorts of goods. So, using their range could be a great way to get started.

The world is a very sensitive ecosystem. Like mentioned above, over farming will often damage land and make it unusable. But, there’s more to it than just the amount we take. Over the last couple of centuries, chemical fertilisers have come a long way. These synthetic materials are used by a lot of companies to produce greater yields than they would naturally. Unfortunately, putting chemicals like this into an environment is bad for the plants and animals surrounding it. Companies like Patagonia have made a good name for themselves by selling organic goods. This means that their cotton and other resources have been grown using natural fertilisers, in a way which doesn’t harm the Earth. Along with being good for the world, their clothing also looks great. Adding some color to any outfit is easy with a splash of Patagonia.

black-and-white, connected, hands

Unfortunately, it can be hard to trust the claims of the companies selling you their clothing. In the past, businesses have lied about their environmental and social efforts in a bid to become more popular. The only way to tell exactly how a company operates is if they make the information public. This sort of transparency can be very hard to come by, today. But, companies like Everlane are still trying to pioneer this new way of running a company. A lot of people will love the minimal and tasteful styles this company has become known for. And, you’ll be happy to know that they stock nearly anything you could want.

disposal, dump, garbage

Humans are masters when it comes to creating things. But, of course, people are also very good at creating waste. In fact, each year, over two billion tons of waste is dumped in holes in the ground. Lowering this rate is essential for the survival of the human race. And, so, it’s a good idea to look for companies which are responsible for their waste. Companies like Nike and Adidas have been scrutinised for the waste they produce, in recent years. Whereas, companies like Modernation have been heralded for producing nearly no waste at all. Other companies have also started using old clothing as the basis for their new designs, limiting the impact they have on the environment. When you spend the time to look for companies which don’t like waste, you’ll often find the highest quality clothing. This sort of commitment doesn’t end when their products leave the factory. Instead, they want their clothing to last as a long as possible. And, this means that they have to produce it to a very high standard. Sometimes, the ethical option can also be the cheapest and longest lasting. So, it’s well worth your time to do some research.

Hopefully, this post will give you a good idea of what needs to be done to start using your heart when you shop. A lot of people don’t consider the impact their clothing can have on other people. But, the world can be a bad place. And, this makes it very important to do your bit to make it better.

Calista xx

*This post is contributed

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