Special guest blog by: Garik Himebaugh, the founder of Eco-Stylist.
Let’s face it – finding ethical clothing can be daunting. A quick Google search will flood you with lists of the most sustainable brands from a variety of news sources and blogs, but the results are often contradictory.
What you’ll rarely find in these articles are well defined criteria for determining what sustainable means, and ultimately what makes a brand “sustainable”. And with the rise of influencers and #sponcon, many bloggers endorse brands like Everlane, despite growing attention to their less than stellar practices. So, what’s an ethical consumer to do?
5 Cures for Greenwashing
1. Eco-Stylist + Remake
Trusted ethical menswear marketplace Eco-Stylist uses the sustainable brand criteria created by Remake to source and showcase stylish and ethical menswear, and combat the confusion. Eco-Stylist selected Remake’s criteria, accessible here, because its balance of transparency and thoroughness serves to both educate consumers and brands on how to improve.
Remake’s criteria emphasizes publicly available information so consumers can search for and confirm the same facts if they want to – a highly effective strategy for changing the norms of transparency in the fashion industry. However, Remake and Eco-Stylist do reach out to brands for further information on their products when necessary as the industry’s current standards don’t always prize transparency. Check out Remake for spotlights on sustainable women’s brands and Eco-Stylist for your next go-to ethical menswear marketplace.
2. Good on You App
Another tool for the ethical shopper and brand is Good on You. This easy to use website lets you look up virtually any clothing company, including fast fashion brands, and see a comprehensive breakdown of major ethical concerns for green consumers. Their extensive directory usually corroborates Remake and Eco-Stylist’s findings, which proves the reliability of these criteria. Good on You also offers transparency on how they decide their rankings here and when they were conducted, equipping shoppers with as much information as possible before their next purchase.
3. B Corp Directory
For those looking for the absolute basics of ethical fashion, B Corp Directory is the place to go. Many Eco-Stylist brands are B Corps certified, however this is only a starting point as this status does not give you any concrete information on a brand’s environmental or labour standards. So for more information use the sources above or…
4. Green Story
Check out their website and Instagram for clear guides on the foundations of green fashion. They are the place to go if you want to educate yourself when the other tools don’t have you covered, or you want to know why certain things are ranked the way they are. If you want to know the best ethical fabrics, what resources are at stake, and what is innovative in the green fashion space, Green Story’s ebooks and blog will be of interest to you!
And, of course, there are a variety of certifications available for companies to prove their ethical and sustainable credibility that are often easily identifiable for shoppers looking to make a quick purchase. Certifications like GOTS, bluesign, SA8000 and Fair Trade tell you a lot of positive information about a brand, and companies usually show them off when they have them.
However, these credentials can be pricey, meaning not all ethical brands have them because the time requirement and cost can favour larger companies. For a useful guide to eco-fashion certifications check out EcoCult’s article.
These tools are free and easy to use to simplify ethical shopping and cut through the noise. How did you find your favourite ethical brands? What made you know you could trust them?