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Ethical shopping

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I love shopping; I'll admit it. When I'm bored, I stroll my local boutiques or wander Newbury Street. I don't always buy something, but I love admiring all the goods. In the past year or so, I've shifted my shopping addiction quite a bit - I no longer shop at stores that contribute to harming our global climate, or stores that obsessively over-manufacture clothing and accessories in sweatshops and cruel harsh factories where employees fall ill and die from their working conditions. Some of the stores that I now avoid are:

  • H&M

  • GAP

  • Banana Republic

  • Old Navy

  • Athleta

  • Lululemon 

  • Target (I try not to buy clothes from here, but I do still buy some household items here but only safe, trusted brands like Seventh Generation)

  • Zara

  • Anthropologie (how I love you so but...)

  • Ann Taylor

  • Loft

  • Madewell

  • Urban Outfitters


& the list goes on...

I promise I don't feel holier-than-thou because I choose not to shop at stores that most of my friends and family actually do shop at. Whatever works for you, cool. For me, after watching The True Cost documentary, I could no longer justify my money and impulsive purchases to go towards the deaths of many people in other countries; I could not say in one breath that I recycle and care about the earth, and yet wear a garment that is made of new polyester and mass-produced on an obnoxiously large scale.

We all do what we can; we're even seeing now that recycling isn't even that great of an option to help our planet, but I digress... So back to my original point, I've started being a more mindful consumer in many ways. It started in March 2015 when I started this blog, after the painful loss of my beloved uncle. I revamped my beauty routine (all hail Follain and S.W. Basics!), started #spiralizing like crazy, completed that incredible life-changing Be Well cleanse, maintained an empowering and strengthening 4-6 day weekly fitness regime, and fell back in love with yoga. I started taking notice of what I was putting into my body, what I was putting on my body, and thus started to think about what I was wearing on my body. Did you know that polyester is one of the worst fabrics to wear? It's so scary to think that what we perceive as a harmless fashionable top can actually potentially cause cancer. And you may roll your eyes and say, "everything causes cancer these days." Yeah, wellp, you're kind of right. And it f*cking sucks. But we do have control over how much exposure we want to detrimental chemicals, as well as how much we want to engage in the decline of our climate, the decline in the health of our fellow humans in other countries creating our everyday products.

Before you say, "it's way too expensive for me to make that kind of shift!" Stop right there. Here's the deal - it will initially feel like you're spending more because you're investing more money up front on a piece that you will likely, ideally, have for years. 

However, take a look at your wardrobe. Maybe you have a lot of different pieces that you wear once every couple of months, but then you also have some go-to staples/well-loved pieces that you call upon often. You've heard about capsule wardrobes, which has been gaining popularity more frequently in the past couple of years. It's about having 25-40 pieces (clothes, shoes, accessories...) that you rotate within a season - you never have to stress over what to wear or agonize over what matches what, because ideally you've pared down your wardrobe to strong functional pieces that can be interchanged fairly easily. They're also quality pieces that will last you for years to come. Thus, you are initially investing more up front but it is on a quality piece that you will be able to wear again and again for years, and not have to go to the store every few months to buy something new. You save money in the long run, and value your pieces even more. 

Remember: Less is more! More is not [always] more.

So you've heard where I don't shop, so here are some solid companies to check out that I myself support:

Taylor Stitch
Everlane
Nisolo
IMBY
Gather & See
People Tree
kowtow
Rumi
thredUP
Vetta
krochetkids
Loomstate
Zady
& the ultimate go to: The Good Trade

This is a solid place to start, and I hope it's helpful for you!

Do what you can, which is more than you realize.

- S

Zady: The New Standard

Everything about this site and what it stands for is amazing. They also have a great collection of ethically sourced clothing brands, jewelry, beauty...so dreamy!

If you're curious about how to make smarter choices with clothing purchases, or just interested in educating yourself, watch this video - you'll learn a lot!