How to Start Shopping Ethically and Sustainably for Clothes

Sustainability has become a hot topic in the world of fashion and consumerism. A lot of times, we are made to feel guilty for buying into a capitalist economy and participating in fast fashion. But fear not, as it is nearly impossible to escape capitalism as consumers because it is so deeply ingrained in our world. Only 100 corporations are responsible for 71% of our carbon emissions, like Amazon. We are guilt-tripped into feeling like we are unethical consumers because of the state of climate change, but just remember that we are not entirely responsible for our world’s decline. 

But, that doesn’t mean that we should throw all caution to the wind and wait for corporate America to join us in saving the planet. In our own ways, we do need to be more diligent in researching companies and their carbon footprint. Our own actions have a minimal effect, and set the stage for overall change. 

Good On You is an online database that rates fashion companies on their approach to better the world. Their ratings focus on people, the environment, and use of animals. For their section on people, they focus on how companies combat forced labor, child labor, empowerment of employees, and more. The planet section focuses on a company’s approach to being sustainable and reducing their carbon footprint. Finally, the animal section focuses on their use of animal fur and skin. 

Their rating system ranges from 1 to 5, with 1 being “We Avoid” and 5 being “Great.” Each company listed on their site has its own individual rating and detailed rationale as to why that particular company is ethical towards its workers, animals, and the planet. 

Resources such as Good On You makes being an ethical consumer so much easier. Though there is a lot more we need to learn as a society in being more sustainable, using a database such as this one is a great place to start!