CHOOSE

GO BEHIND THE LABEL

Okay, so you have decided to buy something. How do you go about choosing an item that matches your values? It all comes down to doing your research, looking out for signals and asking questions when you don’t find the information that you’re looking for.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Know before you buy. Get to know your favourite brand by visiting their website or reading their corporate responsibility report, where they share information on their social and environmental commitments.

Check the rankings. How does your favorite brand stack up against others when it comes to transparency? Rankings can help you learn, and they also put pressure on brands to share more.

Check your label. What are your clothes made of? Each material has a different impact and a product made from 100% of the same material is generally easier to recycle.

Look out for certifications and standards. Labels like Cradle to Cradle Certified™, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Fairtrade®, OEKO-TEX® and others can signal better practices.

Go organic. If you are buying cotton or a natural fibre, choose the organic option. Organic fibres are better for biodiversity since toxic chemicals are not used in their production.

Ask questions. If you can’t find the sustainability information you’re looking for, ask a salesperson or message the brand by email or social media. Your question might start an internal conversation.

MORE RESOURCES

  • Good On You [Resource] — This mobile app provides ethical ratings for over 2,000 fashion brands based on their impact on people, the planet and animals. (Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator participant)
  • Remake Sustainable Brands [Resource] — Non-profit Remake has compiled a list of sustainable brands that meet their ethical criteria, along with stylish curated shopping guides.
  • Fashion Transparency Index 2018 [Report] — This annual ranking from Fashion Revolution assesses brands on how transparent they are.
  • Sustainability Certification Guide [Article] — A handy overview of the most popular sustainability certifications and standards compiled by Apparel Entrepreneurship.
  • Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion [Book] — Journalist and former cheap fashion addict Elizabeth Cline sets out to uncover the true nature of the cheap fashion juggernaut. What are we doing with all these clothes? And more important, what are they doing to us, our society, our environment, even our souls?

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