It’s Not Easy Being Green! How To Make Ethical Fashion Choices

Life is all about making ethical choices.  And believe it or not, beauty and fashion is an industry ripe for questionable ethics.  There is something we can all do about this now, in the modern age. Whether you are just out of college, or you’re looking for a way to give back to society, there are simple ways for us all to contribute, and you can do this in your fashion choices.   How can we do this?

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Buy Locally

Buying items locally isn’t just convenient, but it’s beneficial for the local economy.  Spending your money on investing in clothing and furniture with local businesses, and you are not just helping them to thrive, but you’re giving back to those around you.  Shopping locally also gives you the opportunity to find items that aren’t typically sold in high street retailers.  This gives you a better chance to find quirkier items and clothing that is so left of center that you will stand out a mile – in a good way!  Buying local items also involves less packaging, cutting down on plastic waste.  Many governments are encouraging customers to bring reusable bags when they go shopping, and this is one of most important things for you to do when heading out to the shops.

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Pick Your Companies

It’s a big draw for many people now, buying items from a supplier that is doing their utmost for the benefit of the planet.  It’s not just clothes that fall under an ethical practices and exploitation.  Even when purchasing something as seemingly innocent as wooden furniture, there could be illegal timber in the product.  Because there’s such a demand in the western world for cheap furniture, this has had a massive impact on deforestation in countries like Thailand and Cambodia.  The businesses that do their best to trade ethically will promote themselves accordingly as being environmentally friendly and supporting fair trade.  Of course, these items will always cost a bit more, but it’s for the benefit of the planet.  So, pick your companies carefully.

Do Your Research

While many businesses pride themselves on their ethical and environmental standpoints, it’s always advisable that you undertake your own education so you know exactly what you are buying. I t’s always beneficial to sort out the origin of the materials, and this can involve a bit of digging, but it’s usually stated clearly on the retailer’s website.  If not, you are within your rights as a consumer to go and ask!  It’s not just clothing that can be ethically sourced, this natural mattress is made from eco-friendly materials, and it makes you think about what else you’ve got in your home that hasn’t been sourced through an ethical channel.  After a while, the realization dawns on us that so many things we use everyday hasn’t been obtained through ethical means.  It’s at this point where you start to consider your own approach to buying all of your items through reputable suppliers.  After a while, once you found a few suppliers that suit your own beliefs, you can continue to go back to those retailers.  A few popular ethical retailers include People Tree, Know The Origin, and Annie Greenabelle.  Use these three as a springboard towards other ethical retailers and spread the word!

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Living A Fashionable Lifestyle Ethically

Living a fashionable lifestyle in an ethical manner is, firstly, about living a lifestyle in an ethical manner.  Choosing your retailers is one piece of the puzzle, but there are things you can do personally to improve on every aspect of your ethical being.  Choosing appropriate retailers, like People Tree, is a great way to get fashionable clothing, but also, think about your accessories.  From your handbags to your flowers at home.  Something like flowers are flown in from overseas, which can have a massive impact on your carbon footprint.  For example, red roses on Valentine’s Day are flown over from countries like Zimbabwe, so why don’t you go back to shopping locally? This leads naturally on to your own day to day dealings.  If you shop locally, you are cutting back on transport costs, which cuts back on the carbon footprint.  So when it comes to getting around, a bicycle is a bold fashion statement that you can accessorize wonderfully. Being on trend is vital when it comes to fashion, but it also benefits those who are looking to consume in a more ethical manner.  Boycotts of large organizations who devote themselves to unethical practices are commonplace, and it’s important for you to be on the ball with regards to this, so you know exactly where you should be standing.  It’s a lot of work, but if you are dedicated to living an ethical lifestyle, this is the way the cookie crumbles.

Used Clothing – Yes Or No?

While we all like a bargain, purchasing used clothes throws up a lot of questions.  Is it worth buying used clothes, especially if they were sourced unethically in the first place?  But it can take a lot of work to restore them again.  It can be a very expensive pursuit to stay on trend, and this is where extending the life of your clothes comes in handy.  Repurposing your clothes helps to reduce carbon, water, and waste footprints between 5% and 10%.  For this statistic alone, it’s worth going to a used clothing outlet such as a thrift store.  And with thrift stores, they are dedicated to giving back. This takes a lot of the research out of the equation, so you can focus on picking the right clothes for you. This does mean that you will have to look a bit harder, but going shopping for bargains and quirky styles in this manner is more fun.  Some people dedicate their Saturday to finding ethically sourced material that is stylish and was left at the bottom of a bargain bin!

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Yes, making ethical fashion choices is a lot of work, but it’s all about living the ethical lifestyle. Fashion can go against the grain in this respect, but if you spend time going through the fine details and sourcing adequate retailers that meet your needs, there is no reason to not look stylish.

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Patch It Up

It’s not hard to tell from my three back-to-back denim related posts, that lately I’m obsessing over all things denim. Sarcasm aside denim is a major staple in any wardrobe. Today I’m not focusing on jeans or a denim dress but an oversized vintage denim jacket to which I added my own personal style.

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Overall, this outfit just makes me feel cool. I’m convinced it is the jean jacket because it is not an ordinary denim jacket but a denim jacket with a variety of patches. I discovered that iron on patches were a huge trend in the 80s. Pretty much anywhere there was space on your favorite shirt, jacket, or jeans, you could put a patch on it. The 80s must have been a fun decade but I hardly remember it (haha just kidding, 90s baby right here). Fashion is all about bringing past trends back so I proudly wear my patched up denim jacket.

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         My denim jacket is from Brag Vintage, a UK based vintage clothing store selling the highest quality vintage and retro women and men’s clothing and accessories. They are constantly updating their collection, so every week you can find a new and unique treasure waiting to be part of your wardrobe.

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There is no better place than Amazon to find a variety of iron on patches. I had a blast picking out which patches I wanted to include and I decided to add some music influence, my love for New York, and other quirky patches like the eye and the alien.

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         All eyes should be on my jean jacket, hence the eye patches and there is no better way to pair this jacket than with a basic white and black shift dress from Target.

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As for footwear, no shoe is cooler than a pair of high top Vans, so I think these sneakers perfectly tie together this vintage look. And for an extra boost of coolness, I decided to wear my colorful mirrored sunglasses.

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Remember with a little online shopping and a creative eye anyone can revamp a basic piece. A great way to start is by taking a pair of old jeans or a thrifted jean jacket and put your creativity to work to transform it into a hip new look. I am so inspired to do more of these DIY fashion looks. Who knows what will be next. Until then, I’ll stay a part of the cool kid club and wear this jacket. Send me a comment and let me know about any of your DIY fashion ideas. See you all in my next post.

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 Dress: Target (SIMILAR) (SIMILAR) (SIMILAR)  | Denim Jacket: Brag Vintage (SIMILAR) (SIMILAR)  | Shoes: Vans | Sunglasses: Local Boutique (SIMILAR) (SIMILAR) (SIMILAR)

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Color Splash

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Since I spend most of my days and nights working on my blog, visiting my favorite fashion blogs, reading about the latest trends, and of course online shopping, my style is constantly changing. I have been inspired to step out of my comfort zone and experiment with different styles, patterns, and colors.

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Enter this bright, colorful dress. Before we say goodbye to summer and we start dressing in more dark colors, I decided to find a fun, colorful summer dress. Thanks to this spaghetti strapped tie-dye print dress from the online store Zaful, I was able to capture more of summer before the fall months begin.

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Zaful is your one-stop online shop offering a huge selection of stylish dresses, rompers, tops, sweaters, jeans, and the list goes on. It’s the perfect online shop for fashionistas to find affordable and stylish clothes, allowing them to keep up with the latest trends. I love how Zaful sells quality clothing, shoes, and accessories from up and coming designers so everyone can find something that is unique to their style.

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Certainly, my dress makes a colorful statement, so I did not need many accessories. I paired this dress with a light colored denim vest from Forever 21. I always like to wear a vest, jacket, or sweater with a summer dress to complete the look. Plus, I am always cold, so an extra layer is a must for me. My summer time dress could easily be styled with sandals, but for a more casual, sporty look I wore my slip on white Converse. I finished off my look with a long charm necklace with inspiring words, my LOFT sunglasses, and my hair in a braid to keep it out of my face. This look proves that sometimes the simplest outfits make the biggest statement.

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         On another note, I can’t believe summer is coming to an end. I have been so busy preparing for my junior year of college and creating new content for my blog. Let me know in the comments below how all of you are spending the last few weeks of summer?

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Dress: Zaful (SIMILAR) (SIMILAR) (SIMILAR) | Vest: Forever 21 (SIMILAR) (SIMILAR) | Shoes: Converse | Sunglasses: The LOFT (SIMILAR) | Necklace: Local Boutique (SIMILAR)

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