Welcome back to True Cost Tuesdays where we unpack some of the reasons behind why we at Yobel only provide fair trade, ethical, and sustainable clothing, and accessories. It’s been a good Fair Trade Month, talking about the true cost of fashion.
This month we’ve talked a lot about Fair Trade and its components such as how Faire Trade supports workers and their rights, how it’s eco-friendly, and how it pays a livable wage to name a few. We’ve also talked about how to avoid traps from the companies that don’t want you to know how they conduct their business. It’s been good to go over these facets of the 3 trillion dollar fashion industry.
So now what? What’s next for those of us who want to work toward only buying Fair Trade? Here are some ways to accomplish that.
First, do your research. We have an incredible resource in the palm of our hands all day, every day. Our phones. We can do a search on a company while we’re in a store looking at a product. You can search, “Are Levi’s Fair Trade?” or “Where to find Fair Trade Clothing”. Obviously, come visit us at Yobel, but research helps in multiple ways. It educates us on the brands that surround us, and those that are Fair Trade. It also helps change our buying habits. Instead of seeing a product we like and buying it, pause and take some time to research that brand before you purchase. This means maybe not making that purchase at all until you can find something similar but Fair Trade.
Second, while you’re shopping and researching, look for sustainable materials. All companies are required by law to disclose the materials of their products. Clothing cannot be imported or sold in the US without this. Look for organic fibers, recycled cotton, or even recycled polyester (better than new), or upcycled products made from scraps and deadstock. Sustainable materials help our environment at the beginning and the end of a product’s life.
Third, invest in classic and timeless products. For example, rather than purchasing 5 inexpensive, fast fashion sweaters (that might only be in style for one season and quickly wear out), use that same money to purchase one classic piece. It can take longer to make these investments and at first seem more expensive, but I promise over time it’s not. The quality pieces you purchase will last longer and should be versatile so you can enjoy them season after season.
As I’ve said before, please remember there’s a person behind everything! Someone just like you and me are working jobs in another state (yes, in the US) or country without the freedoms we have. We can make a difference in their lives which will positively impact us all. The ripple effect if we buycott (only purchasing Fair Trade) is huge and it’s how we vote with our dollar. I really do believe we can turn things around in the fashion industry.
Thank you for joining us in Fair Trade month. Let’s keep learning, researching, and purchasing Fair Trade. Email or DM on social media us if you have any Fair Trade questions too; we’re glad to help and hope to see you soon at Yobel!