The fashion industry is a dirty business. In fact it is the second most polluting industry in the world only next to the oil industry.
If huge pollution issues aren't enough to make you look for more ethical alternatives maybe the slave-like working conditions for mainly poor women will.
We believe most people would act differently if they knew.
Read on to get inspiration on how to make your wardrobe fair and sustainable
To make it easy we want you to think of only three words when you go shopping for fashion the next time.
REDUCE - REUSE - RETHINK
Each word is linked to each their way of going more sustainable. Some mix them all others use mainly one.
Building a fair and sustainable wardrobe is for everyone and there is not only one way to do so.
Reduce means first of all love and use what you already have in your closet. Make sure every item is used more than the four times a garment is used on average in industrialized countries.
If you are really cool you don't add anything new before you have worn out something else.
Secondly you could even consider reducing the amount of items in your closet.
Several case studies show people with smaller and well considered wardrobes feel they have more options because they can easily overview their options. Besides, they have carefully selected everything they own.
Reuse covers everything from buying and selling secondhand to renting and borrowing clothing.
All over in major cities and online a new type of secondhand shops open up with each of their specialized focus on e.g. children's wear, high end children's wear, luxury women's wear etc.
In addition we see a growing number of passionate people and companies who help organize swap events - big or small.
Last but not least some brands have build their business around a circular model where clothing is not owned e.g. Danish-based vigga.
Rethink refers to when you buy new items.
In stead of buying fast fashion look for sustainable and fair options which will help save the planet and textile workers for further harm and chemicals.
Rethink also means to think differently and ask questions.
Question yourself what your favorite brands represent and do they represent values you approve.
Furthermore question brands and stores what they do to secure safe and sustainable production.
Sometimes you might actually run into someone who knows about the production process of the clothing they sell.
According the recently published Transparency Index from Fashion Revolution the top 150 fashion brands talk much more about policies and strategies than they talk about the actual results.
This is why buying certified items (e.g. GOTS certified) is a safe way to make sure people and planet have been treated with respect.
There are many more certifications but GOTS is a strong and widely used certification that covers both fair working conditions and strict environmental criteria throughout the whole value chain.
Not all sustainable and ethical brands however have certifications which is why we highly recommend you to find stores and webshops who have build their business around sustainable fashion.
Use common sense
Last but not least part of rethink is to use your common sense.
If a t-shirts costs 10 Euro the store takes half giving 5 Euro to share between brand owner, textile worker, logistics, taxes, textile production, farmning etc. which doesn't leave much money for safety, human rights and sustainability.
Which is why quality above quantity is so important to build a sustainable and ethical wardrobe.
Grobund makes slow fashion for the modern, conscious woman, who are not afraid to follow her heart rather than the rapidly changing fashion trends. Recently Grobund also launched their first children's wear.
Lepirol makes beautiful, timeless and very functional knitwear for men and women. Each piece is carefully designed and produced to stand the test of a life-time.
We hope the above advice inspire your rather than scare you. You don't have to do it all at once. Pick one word and start slowly. Every little step matters.
The big fashion companies do not notice that you leave them but the small entrepreneurs running a sustainable business will notice and appreciate every purchase you make with them.
Ending fashion fact
According to Fashion Revolution every piece of garment is merely used on average four times.
Fashion Revolution further states Americans alone throw away approximately 14 million tonnes of garments each year which is more than 36 kg per person.
To top that 84% of this goes into incineration or landfill.