Why shop fair? 10 reasons + fall outfit
This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Why should I care about fair fashion?
Is the situation in the garment industry really that bad?
How can I make a difference?
+ your questions about fair fashion you asked me on Instagram!
It used to be my consolation and my reward at the same time. I called it my hobby, my favourite leisure-activity. I’m talking about shopping. When I think back I feel incredibly guilty. Preferably I’d love to forget about this time, but there are still so many pieces in my closet which remind me of my inconsiderate consum back then every day. I rather bought two shirts instead of one and it was always a huge success to make come home with some bargains.
Fair fashion wasn’t even existing in my world. I didn’t think about the people who would produce all these clothes. I had no clue how bad the garment industry was. Of course you could say that it’s your own responsibility to inform yourself and to face up with this topic. But that’s easier said than done. Especially girls in their teenage years and early 20s struggle with other problems. And also, on the other hand, it’s a discussion which hasn’t reached a bigger audience for a long time. Now it seems that’s it’s all starting to change. Fair fashion gets more popular. More and more we realise that we have to change our habits to save this planet. But this would mean that we have to reduce our consumption too. The question is: Are we really willing to do so? And what are the reasons do make a change?
Big fast fashion chains have started to jump on the environmental bandwagon too (even though that’s more of green washing than an actual change, take H&M and Zara as an exaple here). But it still shows that the buying public requests more alternatives. That’s why I really wanted to write this blog post for you. We have become blind consumers. We like things that are cheap but we don’t ask ourselves how the companies can afford to be so low-priced.
Fair, conscious and ethical fashion is about shopping with eyes wide open. It’s about knowing where your product comes from. Who made them, how does it affects the environment? Nobody wants to support an industry that enslaves people, right? But that’s what we are actually doing every time we buy at a fast fashion store. Every purchase that we make has a bigger impact that we can imagine.
I want to give you an example of how blind we shop. Let’s take food: Imagine you’d go shopping in your supermarket. What do you do before you put in all the groceries into your cart? Exactly, you start controlling the items. Is the fruit ripe, where does this lettuce come from, is the almond milk organic, is there any added sugar in this can with black beans? We’ve learned to be careful about products we buy there. But when it comes to fashion we don’t even check where they got produced. We don’t check twice when a clothing item is too cheap. But somehow fast fashion is like fast food. After the sugar rush it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
What surprised me a lot is the fact that even people who care about the environment a lot, don’t know much about fair fashion. I have to be honest here, for a long time I was one of them too so I’m not blaming anyone by saying this. But today being vegan for me has become more than just consuming plantbased food. Buying fair and choosing well goes hand in hand with what I believe, support and spread. That’s why I wrote a list for you where I tell you why it is so important to know where your clothes are coming from.
Bag: LaBante London // Watch: Votch Watch // Shoes: Veja // Shirt: Boli & Chip // Jeans: Vintage //Blazer: old
1) Better for our planet and environment
The fashion industry has a huge ecological footprint. Cheap clothing with a low durability, stimulates mass consumption and creates a gigantic amount of unnecessary emissions. Without fair trade agreements, foreign companies can invest in farming and production in developing countries without any or just little regard for environmental sustainability.
2) No toxic
Becoming aware that your piece of clothing was produced in terrible working conditions can both consciously and unconsciously change the way you feel about it. Also, we have the illusion that clothes made from synthetic fibers are safe, but the materials are in fact full of invisible chemicals the clothing industry prefers we don’t think about. Fair labels care about their materials. Our skin is our biggest organ so you’d better take care of it.
3) Fair pay and working conditions
Fairness means fairness for all, for the worker AND the buyer. Transparency and authenticity in a brand allows the customer to make informed decisions.
4) No animals get hurt
Fair fashion labels are often vegan or they offer quite a bigger section of vegan alternatives. And even if they use silken or wool they do it in a very human and sustainable way (I’m working on a blog post about wool too where I reflect wheter it’s okay to wear it as vegan or not).
5) Less waste
Ethical brands care about their packing material. Mostly they avoid plastic in any way they can. Furthermore a lot of fair labels reuse old materials like plastic bottles to produce their clothes. How cool is that!
6) Save money
It may sound weird that buying fair is cheaper. But if you ask yourself, if you really need all the things you buy, you probably buy less. It makes much more sense to choose well and love the things you have for a longer time.
7) Respect young women
Our clothes are sewn by human beings, mostly by young women, who get up quite early and go to work each day. They deserve to be treated with respect and paid a fair wage for their work, don’t you think so? It’s not human to let people work in toxic areas and 15 hours a day without a proper break. I think we need to discuss this.
8) Connect with new cultures
Get to know more about the people who made your clothes! Inform yourself where they got produced and learn more about their culture. All of this will help you to understand what it means to make one piece of clothing.
9) Support local economies
Fair trade brings products from poorer regions into more developed economies. A minimum price is agreed on in advance to make sure that producers will be able to earn the money they need for living.
10) Know where your product is from
A lot of ethical brands tell you exactly who made your clothes. If they don’t, feel free to contact the labels. They’ll be happy to help you and give you more informations.
Bag: LaBante London // Watch: Votch Watch // Shoes: Veja // Shirt: Boli & Chip // Jeans: Vintage //Blazer: old
YOUR QUESTIONS about fair fashion
I also asked you on Instagram if you have some more questions about fair fashion in general. When I took a survey a few days ago, almost 70% said that they don’t buy fair clothes yet. The reason? You said that you just don’t know good alternatives. I say: We can work on that. I’ll publish a list, a fair fashion guide, on this blog asap. In the meanwhile I’m trying to answer some of the most important questions here in this blog post. Thank you so much for participaation, I always love to help you. Feel free to leave more questions as a comment down here as well and I’ll be happy to find answers for you. Let’s get started…
Does fair produced automatically mean organic?
No, not in general. Fair trade and organic are two different labels. But of course there are a lot of brands who combine them. To make sure to have a circular and sustainable flow it’s nearly unalterable to ensure both factors.
Another point is that in the EU there is no organic label for fashion (for food there is one as you may know). This makes it even more complicated to find our wheter a label uses organic cotton or not. BUT, and I take food here as an example again, not every company owns an organic label there too, even if they would fulfill all the submittals. If you look at farmers in your neighborhood I’m sure you’ll find some who produce in the same way a licenced organic factory would. But maybe he just doesn’t have the money to get the label, etc. As you can see it’s not a question you could answer with a strict yes or no.
Tip 1: It helps to check wheter a product fulfills the “Global Organic Textile Standard” (GOTS). This standard tells you that at least 90 percent of the natural fiber is made with sustainable and ecofriendly colours for the dyeing process.
Tip 2: I always suggest to ask the companies. Fair labels mostly are happy to help you and give you more informations.
Where can I find vegan winter boots?
First of all: If you still have leather boots wear them until the have holes! 🙂 No, but honestly, it doens’t make sense to throw things away just because you’ve become vegan and you don’t want to wear them anymore. BUT if you really need new winter boots I’m happy to help you out with some great brands, sure! Here you go: Nae Vegan Shoes, Mireia Playa, Vegetarian Shoes, Avesu (these links are not sponsored btw).
Can you recommand a warm winter jacket?
Yes! I’m a huge fan of HoodLamb. It was the the first company to make a winter jacket out of hemp. All the clothes are crafted from the highest quality organic and recycled materials. HoodLamb is also a PETA approved brand, and committed supporter of PETA’s mission to eliminate all animal cruelty in fashion. There will a extra fall look* on the blog soon where I’ll feature one of their jackets too (*sponsored).
What fair labels are your favourites?
So hard to decide! To name a few I’d say Jan N’ June, The Reformation and Armed Angels. I’m working on a blog post where I’ll give you a list with all the brands I can recommand you asap!
Why should I buy second hand?
There’s a lot of water and chemicals that go into our clothes. If we recycle unused clothes, that means we won’t be paying the price in the future. I’m talking about damage to the environment, loss of habitat for animals and pollution of natural resources. Clothes get a longer lifespan. When things get thrown away by hundreds of people, this creates a huge amount of waste. This is just not necessary. One pair of jeans could be used by someone else’s friend, etc.
Do you only buy vegan clothes or do you wear non-vegan garments too which are produced under fair conditions though?
That’s such an interesting question. It really depends on your own ethics and your reasons why you are vegan. The question is: Where do you draw the line between human interference and animals? If you basing your decision on animal rights propaganda that would have you believe that the wool industry is cruel and heartless, this might be interesting for you: I’m working on a blog post about wool and wheter it’s ok to wear it or not. There I’ll answer questions like: Is it cruel to shear sheeps? Do they die from it? Are sheep abused? What difference does it make if you go for sustainable wool brands, etc.
I really hope you guys enjoyed reading this. Let me know in a comment below if this was helpful and if there were some aspects which you didn’t know about before. Furthermore I’d love to hear if you still have any questions? What’s your opinion on fair fashion? Let’s get in touch.