Sustainability has, no secret, become a hung part of the fashion and e-commerce industry – going from trendy to the "green" branding consumers look for in the brands they’re shopping from. So how are you supposed to know which brands to support, and how can you find out more about their specific sustainability efforts?
Last year, around this time, I discovered the app ‘Good on You’ – which not only gives you a directory with breakdowns of how sustainable (or not) the brands you support are, as well as articles with fashion sustainability news, tips and tricks. It’s basically a guide in your pocket that helps you make the best sustainable – and ethical – choices.
- So, how does it work?
Type in a brand and you get a breakdown of their sustainability “score” out of five stars. A lot of brands that are popular are, unfortunately, “We Avoid” (one star), which either means that their sustainability rating (which includes their environmental footprint, how they treat/pay workers, and if they use animal products) is either not good, or there isn’t enough information provided by the company about their sustainability efforts.
Brands that fall under “We Avoid” include Missguided, Nasty Gal, Cider, Shein, Forever 21 etc. Some “Not Good Enough” (two-star) brands include Free People, Anthropology, and more, while brands like H&M, Nike, Converse, fall under “It’s a Start” (three stars). Some four-star, “Good”-rated brands include Good Karma, tentree, Adidas, and CHNG, Honest Basics, and Girlfriend Collective are among brands with a five-star “Great” rating. You can search any brand in their directory – it is updated as new information comes in and it’s super helpful.
Spoiler alert: a lot of high-end designer brands (Gucci, Prada, Fendi, SAVAGE X FENTI) are extremely low rated – like 1-2 stars. A lot of this is also because they use animal products like leather, but still, really not impressive (especially for the price point).
- What are the articles about?
Along with this stellar, in-depth directory, ‘Good on You’ also has articles that can help you take steps towards a more sustainable wardrobe and life. They’ve got news in the industry, including updated sustainability practices, as well as how to take better steps to use the clothing you already have sustainably.
One of their more recent articles talks about how to mend your clothes (and why it matters in the long-term), making it easier to keep wearing what you have. Making sustainable choices doesn’t just apply to what you’re buying new, but also to how you treat the clothes you already have; the most sustainable option is to wear what you already have.
- How can I find similar sustainable options instead of buying 1-2 star-rated brands?
Believe it or not (believe it), ‘Good on You’ literally offers you options when you look up brands! Say you’re looking up Nasty Gal (or any brand, but this is a one-star, so we’ll use it as an example) – scroll to the bottom, and you’ve got a bunch of recommended 4-5 star brands to peruse! Very handy if you’re looking for new brands to support to swap your current (maybe not-the-eco-friendliest) favs.
- Is it possible to be 100% sustainable?
Honestly, probably not. As they say, there is not ethical consumerism under capitalism (insert ironic cowboy emoji here?), but we can sure as heck try. One way in doing so is supporting mainly brands that have good treatment of their workers, don’t use animal products and have a low carbon footprint throughout their process. It’s important to try your best and recognize how your choices affect the world and other people, and this also means making yourself more knowledgeable about what you consume.
One easy way to more ethically and sustainably buy clothing is to not over-consume. With influencers posting Shein hauls left and right, it’s hard to not buy a million cute, affordable things. But one tip – think twice before you buy something.
If you’re looking to up your sustainability game, or if you just want to know what your favorite brands are up to in terms of their worldwide footprint, ‘Good on You’ is your one-stop-shop. All the research you could do on your own time to discover if a brand is sustainable is right there, at your disposal, with just a click. And trust me, ethically sourced clothing just feels good on you!