Since I’ve decided to change my shopping habits and start making more ethical fashion choices, I’ve noticed that there are so many barriers to ethical shopping. It really isn’t easy to shop ethically, and you have to make extra effort to ensure you’re buying ethical fashion. Today I wanted to share 6 of the main barriers and challenges you will face when shopping for ethical fashion.
Cost is always the number one barrier which comes up whenever you speak about ethical fashion. And it’s understandable ethical fashion does cost more than the majority of the high street. I think one of the issues here is that we have all gotten too used to our clothes costing so little, and as we know its practically impossible to be ethical and sell a t-shirt for less than a cup of coffee. If you want to know that everyone in the supply chain has been paid fairly then you have to pay a little more at the till. However along with the extra cost often comes better quality and longer lasting clothes, so it comes down to changing your attitude towards clothes and shopping for clothes.
Lack of Style
Unfortunately, ethical fashion does have a reputation for being a bit hippy and if that’s not your style this can be a big barrier. Yes, you do have to look a little harder but lots of ethical brands have a great range of modern styles which don’t look like they belong at a 70s festival. You can find plenty of modern, stylish styles and even trendy options from ethical brands.
Online shopping is great, but sometimes you want to see the piece in person so you can feel it in your hands and try it on before committing. Unless you’re lucky enough to live near a big city with ethical boutiques then a lack of local suppliers will be a big barrier. Not being able to jump in your car and pick something up at the nearest shopping centre can be a huge barrier especially if you need something quickly.
Being petite it’s difficult enough to find a good range of options on the high street so when you are looking for ethical fashion as well it can be very difficult. It’s not just a lack of petite, tall, maternity or plus size options certain styles can be difficult to find from ethical brands such as office wear and more formal options.
Lack of Information
It can sometimes be so difficult to find out the ethical credentials of brands and if they do have information available it can be difficult to interpret. A company may share lots of information about how their clothes are made here in the UK (so you know there are good working conditions and at least minimum wage) but they might not be telling you about the toxic dyes being used or where the raw materials are coming from. If we don’t have all the information then we can’t make an informed decision. Luckily there are a few ethical fashion directories which we can use to find out more and if you have the time you can find loads of information online.
Looking up information on a brand, sourcing new ethical brands and waiting on online deliveries is all very time-consuming. Most of us have very busy lives and unfortunately just don’t have the time to research every brand’s ethical credentials. If you want to make ethical shopping choices then you do have to put in the time to do the research. Luckily there are plenty of blogs, websites and directories which can help but we have to accept that this will take longer than picking up a dress at the local supermarket but it’s also worth the extra time and effort.