Photo by: Teona Swift via Pexels
Can you believe that what you wear matters? That the t-shirt you wear today has an effect on someone, somewhere on the other side of the world? That the choice you make when you hit the "add to cart" button could change someone's life and the environment?
If you are here reading this, chances are you are aware or know of the sustainability and ethics of fashion. Or maybe you want to learn more? I have summarised 5 easy ways for you so you can shop and dress more consciously:
1. CHECK THE MATERIALS
Natural fibres (e.g. cotton, hemp, linen etc) are your best bet, cos they are biodegradable. It’ll be even better if these fibres are organic. Organic cotton is probably one of the famous ones, but there's also organic linen and organic hemp. There's also recycled natural fibre such as recycled cotton, which seems to be one of the best ones.
Recycled synthetic fabric (recycled polyester etc) are also a good option. There are two types of recycled fabrics: pre-consumer recycled fabric and post-consumer recycled fabric. Pre-consumer recycled fabric is made of textile waste or excess from the manufacturing process. Post-consumer recycled fabric is made of actual clothing items that have been used and discarded.
Avoid virgin synthetic fibres (polyester, nylon), or find clothing that has a few of them as possible. Socks usually are a bit tricky to get to 100% natural fibres.
Our socks are made of 75% organic cotton, and the rest is nylon & elastane.
2. CHECK THE CERTIFICATIONS
For sustainable fabrics, you can look for GOTS, OCS and OEKO-TEX.
GOTS checks for the organic content of the product. It checks for the management of the production, but also other stuff like the chemical use, water treatment and social responsibility. OCS checks for the organic content of the product and it only checks for the production management. OEKO-TEX checks for harmful substances that might be used in the process of making the fabric/yarns.
You can also look for vegan certifications, such as PETA-Approved Vegan or Vegan Society.
On top of that, you want to make sure that the workers of the label/brand are paid a living wage and treated fairly. For that, the certifications you need to look for are BSCI, Fair Trade or Ethical Clothing Australia.
Our socks are OCS-certified. The manufacturer we worked with has OEKO-TEX and BSCI certifications.
3. DO THE 30 WEARS TEST
Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age & activist, launched the campaign #30Wears to encourage people to only buy items that you’d wear at least 30 times. If you think that’s a small number, then amazing! You'd be surprised how some (if not a lot) people use their clothing items less than 30 times. *honestly I am one of the culprits*.
We are hoping that you could wear our socks more than 30 times! This brings us to the next point:
4. TAKE PROPER CARE OF YOUR ITEMS
Clothing items usually have a care label, attached to the item itself, or on the packaging. You can also check their website, sometimes they have it there! It’s best to follow these instructions so your garment can last longer.
For our socks, put them in a wash bag. Put them in a cold machine wash (or 30° max). If you can handwash them, even better. Don’t tumble dry, line dry them instead. That way, you can re-wear them more than 30 times!
5. CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
Stay away from fast fashion as much as you can. We understand that sustainable/ethical fashion usually cost a lot. I have personally heard from people who said as much as they'd love to opt for ethical brands, they can't afford it. So there’s no judgment if that’s what you can afford right now.
However, the best solution is to buy less. Just because the item is cheap, doesn’t mean you have to buy it, nor if it's on sale. I think that is a mindset that more people need to have.
Otherwise, secondhand shopping is always an option!