I just retweeted a post on Twitter from Trusted Clothes this morning about the consequences of buying cheap fashion. My previous post on what buying clothing on sale really means, discusses why you should care about where and by whom the clothes you consume are made. Something to always keep in the back of your mind:
Your impact on the apparel industry can be controlled by you! Your purchasing habits directly impact wages and working conditions for garment makers, the health of the environment and the volume of waste that ends up in landfills.
For starters, here are four easy rules to follow to create positive change in the apparel industry:
- Understand your personal style so that you aren’t sucked in by the latest fast fashion trend and end up purchasing a garment that you only wear once.
- Purchase clothing that is timeless. Timeless doesn’t mean boring! Timeless means outside of current trends or fads, part of your personal style and constructed to last.
- Consider purchasing through a consignment shop or service retailer such as Goodwill where you will find items diverted from landfills and can get better quality at a lower price.
- Buying American made items will reasonably ensure that wages are fair, production occurs in a safe place for workers and the environment is undamaged.
To make it even easier for you to choose well when making your next apparel purchase, here are some shopping resources to help you find out where your clothes are made.
This list of U.S.A. made apparel and footwear from ratherbeshopping.com is from 2016 but I recognize numerous brands on the list as still American made.
The Brothers Crisp is a Hartford handcrafted shoe brand, calling Park St. home, which employs local talent to create beautiful, outside-of-the-trend, shoes and boots for men and women.
Impact Mart, also a CT company, sells apparel and shoes as well as personal and home accessories. Everything sold on the site is manufactured in a sustainable way. Profits benefit causes such as education, the environment and ending human trafficking.
Hartford Denim Company, HARDENCO, hand crafts items of such good quality, that they come with free repairs for the life of the product.
Green America’s Green Business Network is a resource for certified environmentally supportive and anti-sweatshop brands of clothing and more.
Mashable.com posted a very useful list of 5 resources that help you search for ethically made apparel.
Mary Ruth, Owner of United Sewing and Design has over 30 years experience in the manufacturing of products by sewing and is author of “Industry Sewing Construction Methods” http://amzn.to/2yMxMmk. Her focus is on design, entrepreneurship; social enterprise; the connections between the environment, the apparel industry, and manufacturing; and how owners can leverage artistic methods to benefit their business.