The folks at EthicalOcean asked me the other day, "How far away is the fashion industry from becoming 100% fair trade?" My first response was..."Unfortunately, pretty darn far from it."
The fashion industry as a whole won't be able to go fully fair trade until consumers as a whole start demanding fair trade with their actions. You can vote with your dollars every day to make this kind of change. By choosing to only wear a wardrobe that's been made under fair labor conditions, labels producing in sweatshops will have to start listening. It's hard to resist those big sales at department stores in the malls, but if we all keep buying items without knowing where or how they were made, we aren't going to see much change.
So this got me thinking...what actions have I started taking personally to build a resposible wardrobe? How do I choose to vote with my dollars when it comes to fashion and filling my closet? Now, you have to understand that like most of us, I'm on a tight budget. I don't take a salary from Dsenyo yet so I don't have much of a dispensable income. Therefore, with this in mind, I recommend the following simple strategy for building a socially conscious wardrobe.
How to build a Responsible Wardrobe:
When you are buying a new item make sure it can fulfill at lease ONE of the following criteria:
- Is it Fair Trade? Do you see the GreenAmerica or FTF logos or credible information on the hangtag about who made it and where it came from?
- Is it at least partially made of sustainable fibers? (ex- hemp, organic cotton, tencel, bamboo, recylce polyester, etc)
- Is it recycled, upcycled or used? (consignment shops and thrift stores are a great place to get items of clothing that you can't find fair trade or in a sustainable fiber)
That's it! Keep it simple and start today!