Sustainable clothing is becoming more and more sought after but an item of clothing can only be considered sustainable providing it doesn’t impact negatively on the environment, economy or on society. Here’s 5 things to look out for when purchasing sustainable clothing.
1. Look for the material information.
Under UK law, it is necessary for manufacturers to clearly state the material a garment is made of. When browsing clothing websites, look out for references to sustainably sourced materials. You may find this on the About Us or FAQ page. Check if the material is organic. Organic cotton vs regular cotton for example eliminates harmful pesticides from the growing process and reduces water pollution. The farmers who grow the cotton benefit from this and organic cotton can carry less risk for people who experience skin problems such as eczema.
2. Check where the garment is made.
Pathetic Brands’ values lie in offering sustainable clothing therefore supporting local economy where possible is a must. Cotton is grown in sub-tropical climates and must undergo transportation regardless of whether it is a raw material or manufactured product. Although the plain garment may be made overseas, branding and any additions to Pathetic Brands clothing is completed locally in Wales, UK.
3. Find out if the company is giving back to the community.
A simple way that companies can give back to the community is through supporting charities. Pathetic Brands divides its clothing into collections based on qualities such as colour or type. Not only does this make the shopping experience more enjoyable for the customer but each collection is allocated a charity and a small amount of each sale is donated.
4. Do not support sweatshops.
Nowadays it can be very difficult to shop responsibly and guarantee that what you’ve purchased was not made in a sweatshop. There are a number of organisations who regulate manufacturers and suppliers. Look out for references to regulators and certifiers on the About Us or FAQ pages to be re-assured that the labourers behind the garment were well paid and represented.
5. Pay what you think it’s worth.
Most of us love a good bargain - that’s undeniable. Picking up a cheap T-Shirt or a pretty dress for a couple of quid and saying “easy come, easy go” is ok providing you don’t do it too often. Ask yourself, how is it that this garment is so cheap? Is it going to last me more than one occasion? Can it be easily recycled? Is it durable enough to be donated to charity once I’m done with it? How much was the labourer paid? Is it a nasty synthetic garment? Sometimes, paying that little bit more for a good quality and long-lasting garment is worth its weight in gold, not only to you, but to everyone involved in creating it. Be proud that you can buy something for yourself and impact positively on society and the environment in the process.