So you want to learn about conscious fashion…

But maybe you don’t know where to start.

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Over the weekend, M. and I went out with a few friends for dinner and drinks. We were chatting and one of my friends (much to my happiness!) commented that she saw my Instagram posts about conscious fashion and was really interested in the topic. She asked me how I got into it and where she should start if she wanted to learn more.

It is definitely overwhelming to begin exploring the world of conscious fashion. You might be asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • Where can I get a basic understanding of some of the issues around clothing production? 
  • Are the brands I like to wear conscious brands? How can I find out?
  • Where can I discover new conscious brands?
  • There’s a lot of lingo! What’s the difference between ethical, sustainable and conscious fashion?

Well, read on to learn more!

Where can I get a basic understanding of some of the issues around clothing production? 

The first thing any conscious fashion advocate will tell you is to watch The True CostIt addresses both the human and environmental impact of our over-consumption, and puts faces to the people who make our clothes. It also highlights the designers and farmers who are pursuing a better way. You can find it on Netflix.

Are the brands I like to wear conscious brands? How can I find out?

The first place to start is on the brand’s website. Do they have a sustainability statement? Do they have a human rights statement? Can they track their supply chain? Brands who can do these things are proud to put that information out there and should have it readily available. Brands who can’t tend to be silent about it.

Project Just is where you should turn if you can’t find information on a particular brand. They offer detailed reports on a brand’supply chain practices, from working conditions to waste management. They also have a list of approved brands that go above and beyond in their social and environmental efforts.

Where can I find out about conscious brands?

Well, besides Project Just, and my list of conscious brands, check out some of my favorite blogs below!

There’s a lot of lingo! What’s the difference between ethical, sustainable and conscious fashion?

It may seem like these phrases are used interchangeably, but they actually have their own distinct definitions.

Ethical fashion: Ethical fashion is concerned with human rights. The focus is on how those who make your clothes are treated and paid. Brands that fall under the ethical fashion umbrella often make products that benefit their workers/ local community, such as through education initiatives and job training. Animal welfare and animal rights also fall under ethical fashion.

Sustainable fashion: Sustainable fashion is concerned with the environment. This encompasses things like water usage, recycled content, absence of pesticides in production, dyeing processes and more.

Conscious fashion: Conscious fashion is also referred to as slow fashion. Conscious fashion is concerned with quality, though many of the above topics can fall under conscious fashion because it is a bit more like a philosophy. Conscious fashion is a mindset of purchasing fewer, better garments that transcend trends, and taking good care of the clothing you already own to maximize it’s life.

 

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