Welcome to your shopping guide on how to buy planet-friendly clothing that moves away from brands that are ‘greenwashing!’ As more people become aware of the need to shop ethically and sustainably, the importance of planet-friendly clothing options has grown exponentially.
Whether you are a seasoned sustainable shopper or just dabbling in more eco-conscious wardrobe choices, this guide is here to help you make informed decisions on where to shop, what to look for, and how to identify brands and products that align with your values.
Why Choose Planet-Friendly Clothing?
You have the power to directly influence the textile industry, which has a significant environmental impact. Choosing planet-friendly clothing means supporting a movement that values cruelty-free and sustainable practices and helps reduce waste, pollution, and animal suffering. By opting for clothing options in your wardrobe that are sustainable, and perhaps secondhand or pre-owned, you are taking a stand for a more sustainable and compassionate future.
Embrace Natural and Sustainable Materials
A crucial aspect of shopping is recognizing the materials used. Common animal-derived fibres such as wool, silk, and leather are not planet-friend and often come with their own ethical dilemmas. When shopping for your next favourite piece, look for brands and items made of natural, sustainable, and cruelty-free materials like organic cotton, hemp, and linen.
You may even come across recycled synthetic materials (such as recycled polyester and nylon) used by environmentally conscious brands. These fabrics can be a great alternative to virgin synthetics, as they help reduce waste and minimize the exploitation of natural resources.
Dig Deeper: Look Up Brands and Certifications
Home from shopping and not sure if your new outfit is sustainable and planet-friendly? Do your homework on brands that say they are committed to ethical practices and have a transparent supply chain. Many well-known brands offer ‘green’ options, but be discerning in your choices. Look beyond the marketing claims and verify third-party certifications such as PETA-Approved Vegan, Fair Trade, or Certified B Corp.
There is a lot to consider when finding your personal fashion style within the vegan world. However, the material is the most important when determining if something is truly what it says that it is. Double-check the brand’s ethics and transparency in their manufacturing processes to ensure you are not buying an item made with animal by-products.
Support Independent and Local Brands
Supporting small, independent, and local retailers can be a great way to find planet-friendly clothing, as these smaller companies often have an inherent focus on ethical and sustainable practices. Wildlife Thrift on Granville, Community Thrift & Vintage near Gastown, are a great place to start. There are also loads of sustainable and cruelty-free Canadian brands, such as Wuxly for extra-warm outerwear, Londre for swimwear, and Kotn for a wide selection of women’s and men’s wear.
By choosing these businesses, not only are you likely to find unique, cruelty-free pieces, but you are also contributing to local economies and helping support boutique brands that value sustainability and compassion.
If you are looking for pieces a little over and above everyday wear, check out Mine & Yours, Turnabout Luxury Resale, Style Reissue, and Modaselle. All have high-quality luxury designer goods for a fraction of what retail is and carry a good amount of vintage pieces!
When buying on your next shopping trip, you should better understand what to look for, whether you are purchasing something online or in stores. Shopping for clothing does not have to be difficult or confusing. With some digging and commitment to making better choices when shopping for your wardrobe, you can easily find clothing that aligns with your ethical values and helps make a difference in the world!
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at email@example.com.
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