When introducing people into becoming more mindful about consumption habits and the implications they can have as global citizens, I always start with the 3 C's. Coffee, Clothing and Chocolate.
Ethical clothing shopping can be one of the hardest habits to instill into daily life. Fashion has become such a force in our society, in that what we wear often becomes how people perceive us.
The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world and also one of the most exploiting and oppressive as well.
The Ethical and Sustainable fashion industry has boomed over the past decade and we're seeing a huge increase in really amazing companies taking a stand against the injustices of the fashion industry. (you can find these on the Resource page)
There are even many blogs and websites dedicated to empowering people like us to shop our clothes more ethically and consciously.
There is a documentary out on Netflix called The True Cost that does a wonderful job in showcasing and exposing the issue at hand and the many avenues for solutions.
Right now it is estimated that 250 million children work in sweatshops and 22 million of these children will die every year because of poor working conditions.
How can I ever think of buying clothes because they are trendy and cheap and will look pleasing on me, at the expense of these children literally working to death.
-- Here are 3 ways you can practice active citizenship with conscious consumption to battle against the giant fashion industry and start building a new future where children don't make our clothing.
1. Buy clothes from ethical+sustainable companies, consignment, or thrift stores exclusively.
There are countless companies that are doing amazing work in battling the giant fashion industry. Check some of them out on the Resource page. And because clothes at thrift stores and consignment stores are out of cycle, they are free game!
2. Buy more clothes that you genuinely love and less clothing overall.
150 billion new clothing items are made annually which is a huge strain on people and our environment. Most people feel good about giving their clothes away to Goodwill but the reality is that most of the clothes donated to Goodwill is never redistributed and ends up in a landfill.
3. Wear your clothes atleast 30 times.
If you've seen The True Cost, one of their call-to-actions are to wear each of your clothing items atleast 30 times. This is because on average each clothing item is only worn 7 times before being discarded.