I was recently chatting with my sister about being more conscious of what we eat. I have always had the mindset that if I ate a cookie, it wasn’t because I wanted to lose weight, but to enjoy the cookie.
She then made a good point. It’s not about counting calories or loosing weight. It’s about being conscious of what we are putting in our bodies. Consider what is processed and how often we eat it. Asking questions such as, what am I really putting in my body? Do I appreciate the bigger picture?
So where am I going with this you ask?
Talking with my sister, made me realize I could apply this concept to every aspect of my life. It was time for a get real moment, not with my food (although this should eventually happen…), but with my wardrobe.
Who made my clothes? What conditions do they work in? How do they live their lives? Who am I supporting?
It’s also important to note this week is Fashion Revolution Week! (April 24 – 30th, 2017)
This week is meant to encourage millions of people around the world to ask brands (and to ask themselves) “Who made my clothes?” and demand greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.
With this in mind, I went though my closet and wrote down all the brands/companies I currently wear and did some research. I was shocked that most of my wardrobe is not ethically made. Don’t you worry, I am transitioning my WHOLE wardrobe into a capsule I can be proud of and happy to support… but it can be a slow process.
Think about the brands I have listed below. Do you own a piece from this list? Do you shop there often? Think twice before you pick up that cute pair of jeans on sale… is it really worth it?
The ratings are based on public information, as well as information about worker welfare provided by the brands – based off the App Good On You (you have to check it out!). The app helps you choose brands that have a positive impact on people, the planet and animals.
It’s a start (3)
Not good enough (2)
We avoid (1)
In my closet:
Banana Republic: Not good enough
They have been criticized for not being able to monitor the environmental performance of their supply chains and does not use eco-friendly material.
The company has minimal worker empowerment initiatives and received the bottom score in relation to implementing a living wage.
Their animal rating is the second lowest, “not good enough”. They do not offer sources for their materials.
Forever 21: Not good enough
Forever 21 is not transparent at all about their environmental policies – no information is provided.
The company does not publicly list its suppliers and reports no audits or worker empowerment initiatives.
On a positive note, their animal rating is considered ‘good’ as they do not use wool, fur, down, angora or any exotic animal product. However, they do use leather, but do not offer their sources.
Gap: Not good enough
Gap is beginning to take action environmentally. They have implemented water reduction initiatives and publicly report on targets. However, they have taken no action to eliminate the environmental pollution from their leather tanning processes.
The company traces some of their supply chains. There is minimal worker empowerment and received a low score on implementing a living wage.
The Gap is open about some animal products, but many are unsourced. They do not use angora or exotic animal products.
H&M: It’s a start
H&M offers a recycling program, but they use mostly non-environmentally friendly materials. They use renewable energy for part of its supply chain and aim to eliminate hazardous chemicals. They measure and report on water usage.
The company received the top score for its supplier chain of conduct. They trace almost all of their supply chain. However it has very few worker empowerment initiatives.
They are open about some animal products, but many are unsourced. They do not use angora or exotic animal products. They were awarded the 2015 PETA Libby Award as Most Animal-Friendly Clothing Company for best vegan makeover.
Everlane: Not good enough (WHAT?! – shocked!)
Their environmental rating is very poor. They use the term radical transparency to market and describe themselves, but there are many gaps in the information they provide. Their is no sufficient information on environmental policies.
The company’s vendor code of conduct does not disclose its details. They source from countries with high or extreme risk of labor abuse and there is no evidence they provide a living wage for its employers.
They use leather, wool and cashmere without stating their sources. They do not use angora, fur, down or exotic animal products.
I think you get the point…
La Senza: Not good enough
Lululemon: Not good enough
Old Navy: It’s a start
PINK: Not good enough
Topshop: It’s a start
Victoria Secret: Not good enough
Zara: It’s a start
I was so impressed by the Good On You app. I learned so much about each brand and was also provided with alternative brands that have a positive impact on people, the planet and animals.
Were you shocked by any of these ratings? Do you think you will still shop at some of these places?
I think not!
What are some of your favourite ethical brands? What are your thoughts on fast fashion?