In the last post, I used H&M as an example of a company that promotes itself as ethical but upon careful research, one finds that is not the case. Working conditions are dangerous and children work long, tedious hours, missing out on an education.
So, what can you do?
Yes, you can raise awareness and you can write to the companies. That certainly will not make matters worse, and may even help.
But, you can also get creative and find fashionable finds at consignment stores. You can buy new items at ethical operations, such as novica.com,where you “meet” the artisan who makes your dress, sweater, skirt, shirt, jewelry,etc. Novica is part of National Geographic, and has some really fascinating pieces.
You can go online to esty, and find unique jewelry and support the artisan.
You can check out yooxygen, a sustainable/ethical fashion project of designer seller Yoox. https://www.yoox.com/us/project/yooxygen
You can invest in the mutual funds that are socially responsible (SRIs). Wikipedia explains “Socially responsible investing (SRI), or social investment, also known as sustainable, socially conscious, ‘green’ or ethical investing, is any investment strategy which seeks to consider both financial return and social good to bring about a social change.”
You can trade clothes with friends.
You can learn to sew if you’re really ambitious and creative.
You can support women’s rights and education through sponsoring a child, donating money to groups like Camfed, or raising awareness.
You can donate your old but useable clothes to local community organizations like Volunteers of America, Vietnam Veterans of America, Goodwill, etc.
You can donate your old and unusable clothes to places like animal shelters which often use it for bedding.
After all, waste is a huge problem in fashion. According to The Fashion Law, a Danish news program discovered:
According to TV2, which began investigating H&M in June, KARA/NOVEREN a waste disposal company in Denmark has incinerated over 60 tons of new, unworn apparel from H&M since 2013. These hundreds of thousands of garments consist of reusable/recyclable materials.
So, let us try to play a small but important part in combatting the wasteful, exploitative, and cruel aspects of fashion.