Ethical and Sustainable Fashion Shopping can be fun and good for the soul but it is not always straightforward and simple as it requires some research. Before we get into serious research stuff – Let us focus on you First.
What are you passionate about? The environment? Small carbon footprint? Handmade Fabrics? Fair trade? Locally sourced materials? No child or slave labour?
What you care about and what you value is different for everyone else. It is not easy to check all the boxes that make a product Ethical and Sustainable but things can become simpler if we narrow down what your priorities are and what is available to you.
It is important to know that the companies you are supporting and the clothes you are wearing did not harm the environment or people.
But lets not fool ourselves – the clothes themselves need to be attractive and something we want to wear. No matter how environmentally friendly they are if they don’t fit or the colour runs – we are not going to be happy with the! We need to find out –
What is most important attribute of an outfit for YOU.
Some of these may overlap. Before embarking on your shopping spree it is always a good idea to make a list of exactly what outfits you are looking for. Jeans, tops, dresses, work wear or party wear.
Online shopping can be the easiest and many brands have a transparent trail that will let you know exactly where the clothes were sourced, right from the material to the stitching. You can chose from the ones that share your values and ethics. Check out the brands mission and vision page.
In India we are specially lucky as we have an abundance of craft bazaars where we can buy handmade products directly from the producer groups.
In Delhi we have the Nature Bazaar at Andheria More and Dilli Haat at INA. It is very cool experience talking to the people who have made the products and are selling them right at your door step. You don’t need to travel to remote parts of the country to buy a Jamdani or a Chanderi. Often the crafts people are happy to collaborate with customers to produce one off custom made designs for a small fee. If the clothes you buy from crafts people don’t fit perfectly please get a tailor to alter it to your size. Our crafts people need us to make a living and when we buy from them we also give them valuable feedback so that they can improve their products and making them more contemporary and market friendly.
When looking for Ethical and Sustainable clothes do not be too hard on yourself remember every small step you take makes a big impact.