Ethical and sustainable spending has become extremely popular in the UK and worldwide, as consumers are taking climate action into their own hands. Fashion activist Kathleen Elie of @consciousnchic and Zero Waste thought leader Lauren Singer, Founder of ‘Trash Is For Tossers’, educate us on how to take climate action through clothing.
We take care of our homes because they are where we spend most of our lives.
But what about our first home, mother Earth?
People are starting to realize the huge impacts our daily actions can have on the Earth, and are taking part in global action on climate today, by changing their habits. Rainforest protection can be aided by what we buy and do as consumers.
Futerra conducted a survey with over 1,000 consumers in the US and UK and discovered that a massive 96% of people believe that their daily actions for climate change like donating, recycling and buying ethically, can make a difference for the world.
Consumers have the power to change how businesses operate by choosing more ethical and environmentally friendly brands. We can act to solve climate change through our purchases — now, more than ever.
People in the UK are spending almost 4 times as much on ethical products and services as they did 20 years ago. That means that over 41 billion pounds have been spent on ethical goods such as food, drinks, clothing, energy and eco-travel.
This shows that people are taking action on climate change because they are worried about the environment, social justice, animal welfare and human rights. We don’t just want to buy something that looks nice or is of high quality anymore. Now, we are much more concerned about whether what we buy is going to have a positive impact on the world or not. We want to feel good about our climate action choices.
Fast fashion used to be acceptable and even encouraged, but in the last few years, global climate action has given it a bad name. Consumer power is now used to make choices that aren’t as harmful to the planet.
Clothes that used to be characterised as trendy and cool are now known to many as fast, cheap and disposable. This clothing is produced in such high volume and satisfies consumer need for instant gratification.
Action on the climate can be taken today simply by taking a closer look at how sustainable your clothes buying habits are.
An ethical fashion activist that really encourages her followers to take climate action by using fashion sustainably is Kathleen Elie of @consciousnchic and her website, ‘Fashion with a Conscience,’ which takes global climate action through clothing.
Kathleen notes that some of her proudest moments are leading workshops for college students to educate them about labour trafficking and the challenges that ethical production has.
When asked about why she moved into the sustainable fashion space she said,
“How could such an influential community not use its influence to not only create beauty in the garments that we see but also produce beauty in the lives of everyone involved in the process?”
She makes a great point as brands across many industries are realising the influence they can have on global climate action and consumer power.
Kathleen educates her audience on how to shop according to their values to combat climate change with these 4 steps:
Sustainable living can look different for different people. Values could range from clothing that is sourced or packaged in an environmentally-friendly way, to ethically produced clothing that pays their workers fairly, to Vegan, cruelty-free and Peta-approved products, and to brands that donate to charities. Choose one or of course, all of the above.
Take a look at the brands you already love. Find out about their manufacturing practices, animal cruelty policies, sustainability standards, charitable efforts and corporate responsibility commitment. A way to do this is to join Conscious N Chic’s, ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ Campaign.
Maybe after your deep dive of research, you’ve realized that the brands you support are not supporting climate action as much as you thought. Resources like Conscious N Chic or The Good Trade can help you find brands for whatever garment or accessory you are looking for.
If your budget and values are not aligned, Kathleen suggests to use self-control and invest in quality pieces that are both well-crafted and timeless in design. You have the consumer power to spend money on pieces that will last much longer than any fast fashion clothes.
Lauren singer is a thought leader in the Zero Waste Movement, who runs her own sustainability blog, Trash Is For Tossers, as well as founded two business- The Simply Co., an organic vegan laundry detergent company as well as Package Free, an eCommerce and brick and mortar store that provides alternatives to wasteful single-use products.
In an interview with DORÉ, Lauren stated that she wants to thrive in the modern world of NYC but at the same time she wants to take advantage of her consumer power and doesn’t want to have a negative environmental impact.
When asked about how fashion fits into the idea of sustainability Lauren said,
“When I started living this lifestyle I stopped buying any new clothing, so I’ve been shopping exclusively second hand for 4 years now, and it’s been the most eye-opening thing ever. There’s so much unneeded stuff out there that people don’t want anymore, so they sell to a second-hand shop. So not only is it 90% cheaper than if I were buying something new, but I’m also reusing something that would technically be waste.”
Maintaining a personal style is not difficult with second-hand shopping as a form of climate action. Lauren has learned to be more selective with her shopping and loves to ask herself, “How does this make me feel? Does it go with everything in my closet?”
We’d like to give a big thanks to the thought leaders influencing people to treat the Earth as they would their own home. Ready to make climate action a part of your everyday routine?
The world hopes so.
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