How to make sure you’re supporting ethical fashion – 6 things to watch for
Fall is a time when many of us look at our closets and want to reinvent our wardrobe. The leaves are changing, new trends are coming, and cozy caramel-colored sweaters feel irresistible.
But before you jump into back-to-school shopping mode (or still-at-work-and-want-new-stuff mode), here are some tips to help you shop thoughtfully with Mother Nature, animals, and humans in mind.
While we’ve all likely heard about ethical fashion, things can get a little fuzzy as to what’s eco-conscious and sustainable... and what’s not. So, we’ve got you covered on things to look for and things to avoid.
Ethical fashion 101: 6 things to watch for
1. WRAP certification
If you see a company is certified by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), that’s a really good sign. It means that the products are recognized (in a good way) by a third party certifying body whose mission is to promote ethical, humane, and lawful conditions/practices in manufacturing facilities.
Companies have to go through an extensive process with applications and inspections to get this certification. So, it’s no easy breeze. We’re proud to say our clothes at Wholesome Culture are WRAP certified!
2. B Corporations
When a company is a certified B Corporation that means it has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency by the independent nonprofit called B Lab. And the certification doesn’t evaluate a particular product or process, but rather the overall company.
3. Earth-friendly materials
Be on the lookout for environmentally-conscious materials like organic cotton, hemp, and linen.
Our organic and eco-friendly collection includes tees and tanks made with 100% organic cotton, bamboo and recycled plastic bottles.
And when it comes to designs with screen printing, look for water-based ink, which is what we use at Wholesome Culture because it’s safer for humans and the planet.
Another eco-tip: keep an eye out for products made of deadstock, which are leftover fabrics from mills, and recycled materials (like these shoes and swimwear made of plastic bottles). And clothing brands that reuse and repurpose old fabrics are also paving the way in sustainable fashion movement.
What to stay away from? Animal-derived products like leather, wool, and fur (no brainer). Sequins and glitter are also not very eco-friendly as they’re essentially tiny pieces of plastic.
Also check out this post about all the cool ways brands are making their products cruelty-free.
4. Eco-conscious packaging
Companies that cut corners with the shipping are easy to spot. If you’re cringing at oversized boxes and unnecessary plastic wrapping, that’s less than ideal.
5. Companies that give back
We love a company that gives back! Since we’re all about lifting up other like-minded companies that donate like we do (we give back 10% of our profits to animal rescue and environmental organizations), here are some other fashion companies dedicated to good causes: Gurus sandals, Woodlike Ocean swimwear, Wild Armour jewelry, Out of Print book-themed totes, and Twice as Warm cozy accessories.
6. Something you’ll wear more than once
As a general rule, it’s better to buy stuff you’ll want to re-wear for a while rather than something that will shred in one machine wash or will hang in your closet unworn for months (or years).
That doesn’t mean your clothes need to be super expensive, but if something feels cheaply made or seems like it will only be worn once — that’s more wasteful than anything else.
Want to learn more about some of our products? Check out these posts!
- 6 Eco-friendly reasons why this is going to be your new favorite mug
- The best 8 benefits of using bamboo to make our eco muscle tee
- Quiz: Which Wholesome Culture top best suits your eco-friendly style?
And get to know some of the amazing organizations we’re proud to support: