5 Key Benefits of Ethical Shopping
“Shopping ethically is a non negotiable for women who are money smart and environmentally & socially conscious” - Sam Leigh, Founder eco.mono
I recently attended a friends BBQ where three of my best friends were wearing beautiful dresses, when I complimented them on their attire and asked where they purchased them from ALL THREE said exactly the same shop. I laughed and joked “wow, guys if you shopped with eco.mono as much as you shopped there I’d have no cash flow worries” one said “I know Sam sorry but….
...and we laughed it off.
I could have used this moment to have a discussion about all the benefits of shopping ethically but I didn’t. I didn't want to come across as if I was lecturing them, it’s not about shaming people. I don’t like that. I sat and thought about how I could have this conversation in the future and came up with what I believe to be the 5 KEY BENEFITS OF SHOPPING ETHICALLY:
MONEY SMART (investment)
So, you may be wondering why I think spending more money and investing in your purchases is “Money Smart”? Let me explain, Fast fashion provides a false illusion that we are wealthy. Each week (I won’t say season because they no longer exist in fast fashion) we are hypnotised by the temptation of low prices combined with the latest trends.
This need to acquire as many possessions as possible in order to make ourselves feel better about life, to feel wealthy, to show status, for retail therapy has no doubt lead to the rise of fast-fashion brands.
The satisfying feeling after a haul is in many cases short lived and most of us go home with purchases we later regret. This is retail therapy, like I mentioned above. However, as much as we vow not to waste our money again, a Black Friday Sale, End of Season Sale, 80% Clearance is spotted and the cycle starts all over again.
So why do we repeat this unhealthy buying behaviour? Because Fast fashion provides a false illusion that buying cheap clothing in bulk makes us richer and fulfils us, when in reality the only one getting rich is the CEO and investors of ...let’s say...H&M.
Ethically made pieces are not mass produced by fast fashion giants who want to make something quickly in the cheapest way possible. Yet they will sell it to you for 1000% marked up RRP. DID YOU KNOW: Just because you pay $80 for a dress it doesn't mean it is actually worth that much.
Brands who are manufacturing ethically spend a lot of time making sure each garment produced is of a high quality and it is put through a quality control assessment. So much love and soul goes into making each garment to ensure it will stand the test of time. From fabrics, dyes, stitching and even the aftercare labels with specific care instructions. Overtime, your cost per wear will be much lower than a poor quality mass produced piece.
UNIQUE (not mass produced)
Have you ever been to a party or just been out and about and seen someone wearing the exact same thing as you? Awkwarrrd. Generally this happens when you shop highstreet brands that mass produce the same “feminist” tee (that isn’t really a feminist tee, i’ll get to that later).
Ethical brands produce in much smaller quantities to ensure they are not left with piles of excess unsold stock at the end of a season, because that’s also not very cost effective nor environmentally friendly.
TRANSPARENCY (supply chain)
Designers and brands that are manufacturing ethically know exactly who made your clothes. You don't need to wait for Fashion Revolution Week to ask #whomademyclothes they will tell you year round. From fabric sourcing to manufacturing. Imagine if you saw the working conditions of the people pumping out garments for the likes of Primark, H&M, Cotton On, New Look etc would you still wear it? Would you still wear it if you understood the chemicals you are putting on your skin each day?
ZERO EXPLOITATION (women supporting women)
Low wages, unsafe conditions and sexual harassment. It is 2020 (at the time of writing this article) how is it that for people in the western world to feel rich and good about themselves, people in the poorer parts of the world are exploited and even worse killed?
We always talk about women supporting women but that shouldn’t stop at white privileged women. Fashion is a feminist issue, according to The True Cost there are roughly 40 million garment workers in the world today; many of whom do not share the same rights or protections that many people in the West do. They are some of the lowest paid workers in the world and roughly 85% of all garment workers are women.
Inc.com explains, studies have found females drive 70-80 percent of all consumer purchasing, through a combination of their buying power and influence. So, we are voting with our wallets, we are creating the world we want to live in. WE AS WOMEN HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE CHANGE.