How to Shop Ethically for Clothing

I'll be the first to admit that like most girls, I love shopping. I almost always have a giant online wishlist going at any given moment and by no means am a perfect consumer. That being said, I definitely try to be conscious and find that choosing higher-quality pieces are truly worth the extra money. If you're interested in shopping a bit more ethically (supporting fair employee wages, better factory conditions, earth-friendly productions, etc.). Here are some of my favorite ways to do so:

second-hand or vintage

This one is a bit obvious, but it's an easy way to spend less money and reduce waste. There are a lot of great stores that do "trade" options with gently-used clothes, which can be great for cleaning out your closet and also finding new gems! Vintage stores are also amazing for finding something unique and unlikely to be found on seven other people in the room. 

support ethical brands

I love discovering brands that value their effect on people and the planet, but don't break the bank in order to do so. Here's a few of my favorites, but I'm always looking for more if you have some you'd like to share! 

  • Great for basics: Everlane, Alternative Apparel, PeopleTree, Threads for Thought
  • Dresses: Reformation, Mata Traders
  • Outdoorsy: Patagonia
  • Accessories: The Little Market

host clothing swaps

This is a fun excuse to get friends together and walk away with some new clothes. I've been meaning to host one of these for ages, but they usually prove pretty successful at finding some hidden treasures. I say that because I have perfectly lovely clothes I don't wear for one reason or another and so does almost everyone I know. Plus, who doesn't love the idea of attending a party and scoring a new outfit or two for free?

only buy what you love (quality over quantity)

This is my absolute favorite rule to abide by. I used to make a lot of impulse purchases, but once I made it a rule to only buy what I love, I started buying a whole lot less. I like to think about how long an item will last (both in terms of quality and style) and it's been really helpful in putting down items that I probably would have bought and only worn a couple times before losing interest. It's all a work in progress for me, but I really enjoy making more thoughtful purchases and finding pieces that are worth loving. 


Do you have any ethical brands you love to shop?