What I look for in an ethical brand
Author: Tyler from Thrifts and Tangles
Deciding to quit fast-fashion is a life-altering decision. When I first quit fast-fashion back in 2016, I had to sit back and reevaluate the shopping decisions I was making as a consumer. After watching the documentaries The True Cost and River Blue, I realized that being a conscious consumer and voting with my dollar was the best way for me to take a stand against the fast-fashion industry. I did not want to support companies that were harming the environment and exploiting their workers. Since quitting fast-fashion, I have made an effort to only support brands that are in alignment with my values. There are plenty of amazing, ethical brands in the marketplace. It is important to do your research and find brands that are implementing the changes you would like to see in the industry.
Here are 5 Things I Look For In An Ethical Brand:
Transparency: Companies that share the truth about who made their clothes, their factory labor conditions, how materials are sourced, and their overall environmental impact are changing the industry for the better. Nisolo and Able are great examples of transparent ethical brands.
Fair Trade: Farmers and workers deserve to earn liveable wages and have access to safe working conditions, which is why I prefer to shop brands that are fair trade certified. People Tree is an amazing brand that has pioneered fair trade fashion.
Environmentally Conscious: Our planet is suffering as a result of the fast-fashion industry, which is why it’s crucial for me to support brands that have a low environmental footprint. Ethical brands that use non-toxic dyes and natural and/or recycled fabrics are doing their part to reduce harm on the environment. Some companies have even made the commitment to plant ten trees for every item purchased.
Diversity: The fashion industry as a whole has a reputation of lacking diversity. Ethical fashion should challenge the “norm” and set an example for the future of this industry. As a woman of color and a model, I want to see representation of all ethnicities and sizes in the industry. A groundbreaking brand fully embracing diversity and body-positivity is the lingerie company, Naja.
Giving Back: When voting with my dollar, it’s important that my dollar makes as much as an impact as possible. I love socially-conscious brands, like Half United, dedicated to donating a portion of their profits to support a charity or to fund empowerment programs.
Tyler Chanel is an ethical fashion model and sustainability blogger. In 2012, she created the blog and YouTube Channel, Thrifts and Tangles, to share her love for secondhand shopping and natural hair. Her goal is to inspire women to give sustainability a chance and to give their natural selves a chance. She also uses her platforms to raise awareness to the social injustices and environmental harm caused by fast-fashion. With every post, Tyler aims to emphasize the importance of caring for our planet and its people. Follow her on instagram @thriftsandtangles