You Can Buy Winter Clothes Without Sacrificing Style for Ethics
Keep in mind that if you're looking for ethically-produced women's winter clothing, it's important to know where to find it, and not be fooled by big companies’ greenwashing tactics. Fortunately, there are plenty of ethical options available for women's winter clothing in Australia for sustainable fashionistas like yourself!
If you are looking for sustainable and ethical winter clothing, this article will guide you through the key aspects so you can buy with confidence.
A full transition to ethical and sustainable fashion is urgent, no matter the season
As a society, we need to think about what we're wearing, where it came from and how much resources were spent making it. Fast fashion has its days counted: we can no longer afford to keep wasting the world’s resources and polluting the environment like this. Some scientists are already saying that the total climate meltdown can no longer be stopped.
On the other hand, big brands keep using sweatshop labour, which results in a horrible way of living for their workers. Some of them even try to make you believe they are sustainable when they aren’t — like H&M latest greenwashing scandal.
That’s why boycotting fast fashion companies should no longer be a choice, but an obligation. The good thing is, you have plenty of alternatives to choose from, and if we all start doing our part today, the consequences will not be as bad as they seem now.
How to shop ethically for women's winter clothing
1. Before even looking for your next item of winter clothing, take a minute to check out your existing wardrobe.
There are no clothing pieces as sustainable as the ones that already exist. Look at the clothes you already own. Think about the clothes you wear most often and consider the ones that are still in good condition or still fit well. Consider the clothes that are fine but not necessarily your favourites or special occasion pieces, and finally, think about those items that haven't seen daylight since 2011 (which should be easy because they're probably buried under three layers of seasonal wear).
If you don't like any of it anymore, you can donate or sell them to give them a new life. You can also participate in our Upparel campaign and earn a $25 voucher to spend with Velvety by donating 10kg of your old clothes.
2. Decide if you want to buy new clothes or second-hand
If you decide to buy a new piece of clothing, the first thing to think about is if you prefer to shop for a brand new piece or second-hand ones. Either is fine, if you understand the impact that your purchase will have (either positive or negative).
You’d probably think buying second-hand wouldn’t have any negative effects, but that’s not necessarily true.
Option 1: Buy Second-hand clothes
Second-hand clothing is a great option as it reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing new garments and saves money. Not only that, but you'll find lots of unique pieces that no one else has!
Most times, a second-hand piece will be the most sustainable option, simply because it doesn’t require the production of anything new.
But even so, there are some things to consider.
- Every time you purchase second-hand clothes, wonder about the person who sold them. What if they are buying even more new clothes that they’ll only wear once, because they know that it will be easy to sell them afterward? Are you contributing to increasing the purchases of this person?
- The second-hand market is booming. Resale platform thredUP predicts online thrifting will grow 69% between 2019 and 2021, and some even believe that the resale sector will be bigger than fast fashion within ten years. Thrift flipping is a new trend that consists of buying a piece of clothing and customising it for resale. In theory, this sounds great, but it’s also a threat for disadvantaged people who can’t find cheap, trendy clothes anymore because they are being bought up to be flipped.
So even if you buy secondhand clothing, it’s still a good idea to choose from a sustainable brand or seller.
Option 2: Buy from ethical and sustainable businesses
Being an ethical and eco-conscious person doesn’t mean that you need to stop buying new clothes. Fortunately, nowadays there are plenty of brands that care more about ethics than profits.
They treat their workers well and use sustainable materials and practices in the production of their products.
You can either choose from local shops who manufacture the products themselves — they’ll know everything about the source of their materials, so you can ask everything you’d like to know! — or you can buy from companies selling sustainable clothing in Australia that use sustainably sourced or recycled materials.
See whether the company you want to buy from has any certifications for social responsibility or fair trade standards.
When you're looking for a clothing company that meets ethical standards, you can easily do so by checking whether the company has any certifications for social responsibility or fair trade standards.
You can also buy from online retailers, like Velvety, who have fair trade certifications or have committed themselves strongly towards sustainability.
At Velvety, you can easily find what you want:
- Filter by values and certifications: ethically made, Fair Wear Foundation, Fair-Trade Certified, GOTS certified and PETA Approved Vegan;
- Filter by garments and products that are Australian-made;
- Filter by the type of textile you’re looking for (which includes different types of sustainably sourced textile and even recycled materials).
Option 3: Buy garments made from natural materials like organic cotton, linen, and tencel - not synthetic ones like polyesters or acrylics.
Natural fabrics are better for the environment because they're less likely to pollute air or water (either through the production process or by being disposed of). They also typically last longer than synthetic ones.
When you buy fair trade clothing made from natural materials, you're helping farmers who have chosen sustainable ways of farming their land so that they can pass their knowledge on to future generations. Finally, these kinds of clothes feel good! You'll love wearing them all year round.
Velvety only sells winter clothing that abides by the sustainable and ethical methods we’re talking about in this article, so make sure to check out our sustainable winter collection!
There are a lot of options for buying women's winter clothing that won't harm the earth or exploit other people.
Ethical fashion is becoming increasingly mainstream, and it's rather easy to find ethical clothing in Australia. Just because you're shopping online doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your ethics—a few minutes of research can ensure that you get what you need without supporting environmentally destructive factories or human rights violators.
Buying ethical is simple:
With so many options available today, there's no excuse not to be making ethical choices when shopping!