Not that long ago, if you were shopping for environmentally friendly clothing you would have had a hard time finding it. For years your only alternative would be have been to track down obscure catalogs or find a “green” tailor in your local area. Now you not only have thousands of online shopping portals that offer it but you’ll even find environmentally friendly clothing in national chain stores like Wal-Mart.
There are entire clothing lines that are made with at least partially recycled fibers or renewable resources. Many companies turn their fashion into environmentally friendly clothing by purchasing green energy credits, donating to reforestation projects, or even converting offices to run on solar power.
However, just because you find “green” clothing it doesn’t mean you’ve found ethical clothing. Ethical clothing is produced by companies that truly have a conscience and voluntarily hold themselves to a higher standard. These companies not only ensure that the raw materials they source are “green” but that the finished products are manufactured in a manner that is humane to the workers they employ.
When a company commits itself to manufacturing or selling ethical clothing, they will often seek out fair trade certification, pay more for their products, and even actively engage in humanitarian efforts that directly benefit the craftsmen and women they employ.
This commitment to bettering the lives of the folks in what is traditionally called “the third world” is what makes it worth any extra effort or extra cost you may have to pay when buying ethical clothes. That extra few dollars may not go directly to the artisans and craftspeople but supporting companies who refuse to treat them as slave labor is worthwhile.
Finding ethical clothes has become easier over the years but you may have to look a little harder. Many web outlets use deceptive wording and legalese to shroud their sourcing, which may be legal but isn’t ethical. Clothes may just be an accessory to you but wouldn’t you feel better if you knew the person who made them was getting the help and support they needed to live a better life?
A word of advice: always go beyond the homepage or product description and try to find a declaration of exactly how committed the company is. Often times, companies who source their products directly from the artisans will have testimonial pages with true life stories of how your money is actually getting funneled back to the communities these people live in.
With a little effort, you can wear clothes that not only look good but will make you feel good inside as well.