// Improving Your Ethical Wardrobe


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There is a problem that is facing the clothing industry. Fast fashion has long been convenient, filling our wardrobes with cheap and cheerful items. But the cost of these items is far greater than the small number that we see on the price tag. These garments have a big impact on the world, from environmental concerns through to the ethical concerns of the way that they are produced, the fact of the matter is that these throwaway items are costing us the earth. 

There is also the way that they have affected our outlook on clothing as a whole to think about. Where quality was often the benchmark of a good item of clothing in years gone by, these days we vote with our purses and demand disposable items that we may wear just once before casting aside. If you did choose to wear these cheaper clothing items through to the end of their lifespan, you may well find that they don’t even last that long. If you are buying this type of clothing for practical reasons, it suddenly becomes a false economy as you will probably replace it multiple times in comparison to the lifespan of a well-made item. 

Changing Into Something More Environmentally Friendly

One of the major problems with fast fashion is the effect that it has on the environment. The textile industry is a huge polluter. It causes problems when it comes to growing and producing the materials used to make the items, through to pollution in the actual production. Once the items have been made, they need to be shipped. Very often these products find their way from China and when you go to your local high street you will see stores and stores crammed full of items that have had to be transported the length of the world to be worn once or twice before finally ending up in a landfill. 

As shoppers, there are things that we can all do to help reduce the carbon footprint. Learn about the way that clothes are made, and look for environmentally friendly clothing suppliers. There are a number of clothing manufacturers out there that are attempting to make a positive change. One example of how companies are fighting to alter the way that their industry is affecting the environment is to change the materials that they are using. For example, Ralph Lauren has created a version of their classic polo shirt that is made entirely out of recycled plastic. You can see more about Polo Ralph Lauren in SVD.

Buying second-hand items are one way that you can help to reduce your own clothing carbon footprint. While an item may not be new, it is new to you and may provide you with a similar sense of joy than one bought in a fast-fashion outlet. 

If you are handy with a sewing machine, you could always bring new life into worn or tired fast-fashion items. Turning them into something completely new and useful will mean that their lifespan has increased and they won’t be destined for the dump. 

Check Out The Ethics Of Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is big business. Shops make big money out of the stack-it-high, sell-it-low mentality. The quantities of the items that they buy mean that they are paying almost nothing per unit. Consider that a garment that costs you barely anything will have tax added, so the government get a fair-sized chunk of the sale. Then, the store they are sold in as staff costs, store running costs. The item will have been shipped and there may have been import or export duties at differing stages of the journey. After all of this is accounted for you will be left with the actual cost price that goes back to the original manufacturer which will be barely anything per item. Take out factory costs, raw materials, and by the time you pay the staff that made it you can imagine that they will earn barely anything. 

Factories overseas won’t have the same labour standards as at home. They can work their staff for longer hours in harsher conditions and for much less pay. This is the major reason that fast fashion outlets choose to buy their clothing overseas. 

Try and read into the companies that you like to buy from and make buying choices that don’t fund sweatshops and poor environmental practices. There are things that we can all do as consumers to make the world a better place, and our wardrobes are as good a place to start as anywhere else. 


// this is a contributed post for this charming life.

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HEY! Thanks for dropping by. xo KB