Your Shopping Choices Can Make a Lasting Impact
You may not realize this, but you make ethical choices every single day. From the moment you get out of bed and head to your wardrobe, the choice you make will have a significant impact on the wider world. Something as simple as your shopping choices can have a lasting impact on the environment and the treatment of workers all around the world.
How can this be possible? Well, unless you make your own fabrics and then use this to sew all of your own clothing, chances are you rely on clothing retailers for your daily outfits. In an effort to keep their prices low, most retailers source their clothes from far and wide, so the choices you make at the checkout will have a huge impact on the wider world. These are the three biggest ways that your shopping choices will have an impact.
If your clothes aren’t made locally, then your fashion choices come with a carbon footprint. The fashion industry is responsible for around 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to this, a shocking amount of water is required to make this clothing. According to Treehugger, it takes 1,800 gallons of water to make a single pair of jeans.
There are some retailers that are making a conscious effort to minimize their impact and allow their customers to make more ethical choices. For example, fashion giant ASOS has achieved a 12% reduction in its carbon footprint between 2012 and 2017. This is a huge achievement for a company experiencing such incredible growth. Making an ethical choice doesn’t have to cost a fortune, you can find plenty of money-saving deals online.
It’s easy to ignore the labor that goes into making our clothes. We’re so far removed from the production process that we don’t really seem too concerned that clothing prices are on a downward trend. When a retailer drops their prices, it can only mean two things. Either they are paying their suppliers less, or they are paying their workers less. When making purchasing decisions, it’s important to choose retailers who commit to fair rights for their workers.
Fast fashion is to blame for the vast amount of clothing heading to the landfill every year. Fashion designers used to bring out a new collection twice a year. High street fashion retailers upped the ante and delivered a new collection for Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. And then, fast fashion arrived with their monthly collections. By trying to keep up with the trends and purchasing low-quality items which are only intended to be worn for a few months, consumers are contributing to
the 10.46 million tons of waste fabric heading to the landfill every year in the US.
Photo –Lauren Fleischmann (Unsplash)