The Future of Fashion is Sustainability
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya
When you’re in a clothing store and you see something that you’d like, do you consider the origin of the item before taking it to the checkout?
Many of us overlook the impact that our purchases can have. We don’t take into account how many hands it has passed through or the ethical implications attached to it.
The truth is, unless the item is ethically sourced, there really is no way to know how much damage buying that garment contributes to. According to Forbes Magazine, poorly sourced items could support any number of malpractices, including child-labor and large corporations with poor eco-sustainability.
Our consumer behavior is caught in a cycle. We buy, wear, and throw things out, only to start the cycle again without a second thought. There’s no time like the present to begin making a change and to understand the impact of our purchases.
Let’s discuss the untold effects our impulse purchases can have and how becoming conscious consumers can help people and the planet thrive.
The Unspoken Impact of Fashion
Photo by Vie Studio
We have the power to make a difference with our purchases. Many of us are not aware of the impact that our purchases may have on the environment and people in rural areas. We may make uninformed decisions about where we buy and who we buy from without knowing the standards of those manufacturers.
The money we pay for an item supports the manufacturer and their malpractice. Thankfully, we can have a vital impact in the grand scheme of things through awareness and action.
In 2020 it is now trending knowledge throughout social media, thanks to an article released by United Nations Africa Renewal Magazine, that a single pair of jeans takes almost 8000 liters of water to manufacture. This is astonishing, considering that 2 billion pairs of jeans are produced annually in the US alone.
Along with water usage, the issue of plastic pollution is an even larger percentage of the problem. Many clothing items are created using synthetic fabrics that do not biodegrade when thrown out and instead end up in landfills, bleeding harmful micro-fibers into our oceans.
Many reputable brands are unaware of the origin of the fabrics used to manufacture their clothing. Some choose to look the other way to keep up with the high demand of consumers, regardless of sustainability. The grueling truth is that many big textile factories resort to child-labor to help them meet their quota and keep costs down.
An estimated 170 million children are affected by child labor. They are stripped of their basic rights to learn and play as children should. Instead, they face a lifetime of poor living conditions, low wages, and a continuation of the poverty cycle.
The children most affected are those from impoverished backgrounds. Older children, especially young women, are often tricked into accepting jobs in spinning mills with the false promise of decent pay, a place to stay, and three meals a day. Once the environment becomes abusive, these children become stuck and are too fearful to run away.
Thankfully, due to increased awareness, child labor has decreased by over 30% in the last 20 years. However, it continues to be a pressing issue with 11% of the global child population still affected.
How to Become a Conscious Consumer
Photo by Artem Beliaikin
It’s a fact that our fashion choices have direct consequences at a greater scale. But not to worry, there are ways to become a conscious consumer with your shopping habits. The main rule is that you do your best to purchase as sustainably as possible.
As consumers, we create demand, and where our money goes, the production follows. We have the power to change the way the world works.
Let’s discuss some of the best ways that we can make a massive difference in sustainability.
Buy Handmade Items
When you buy artisanal handmade items, you know exactly where your money goes and who you are supporting.
The artisans who create handmade products are often fully reliant on the income they get from selling their crafts. Many artisans worldwide live in impoverished countries and struggle to make enough sales to survive having no way to sell their unique products to mindful consumers.
All the items available in ShopatMAP are ethically sourced from artisans around the world. Every time you make a purchase from us, you are guaranteed that your money supports the artisan and that the product has been obtained in a sustainable way with a low carbon footprint.
You can have peace of mind that 100% of ShopatMAP proceeds go towards the nonprofit organization Moms Against Poverty, an organization that supports artisans in disadvantaged communities and impoverished children – every time you choose handmade items from our store.
Know the Source
Another way to improve your impact is to make sure you know where the item is made.
When you buy products that are ethically sourced, your money goes towards supporting the artisans instead of supporting a big factory that reaps in the profits while their employees suffer in a poor work environment.
Sometimes it is hard to tell where an item of clothing or its fabric comes from. The best way to minimize your impact and become a conscious consumer is to learn which brands hold themselves to a high enough standard.
Research brands or stores before buying from them, or have a look at this list of brands that have signed a policy against child labor. These brands are guaranteed to practice fair-trade policies and treat their employees or craftsmen with dignity.
Every item in ShopatMAP is ethically sourced from artisans in various countries, including Afghanistan, Nepal, Cambodia, the Middle East, and many more.
ShopatMAP is a great place to find a unique, fashionable gift or – something special for yourself – why not browse through our curated collections from our talented artisans! You can rest assured that we have our artisans’ best interest at heart.
Start Shopping Sustainably Today
Standing together, consumers have the ability to influence the decisions that businesses make. Businesses will not create a product that consumers won’t buy. Where you spend your money represents what you support.
Stand with Moms Against Poverty (MAP) by making your first purchase today as a conscious consumer. Browse our online marketplace of handcrafted, artisanal items at ShopatMAP where 100% of proceeds go towards supporting the artisans who made them.
Written by ShopatMAP