Consumer guide to ethical clothing

By Gregory Smith
May 9, 2014

As consumers, we are constantly buying the newest trends. However, there is also a very high probability that most people do not think about where their clothing items come from before they buy them. For many, the origin of their shirt, shorts or sweater remains a mystery. Many don’t realize that the cotton that makes up their favorite article of clothing could come from a source, such as Uzbekistan, where the cotton is harvested through forced labor. There are things that you can do before purchasing an article of clothing that can help put a stop to forced labor.

-Check for the Fair Trade symbol in the store window. This will tell you if the products in the store come from sources that are fair to the worker.

-Ask your retailer if they have clothing items that are Fair Trade or that have a level of transparency in where the material comes from. This will ensure you are purchasing a “clean” article of clothing.

-Participate in Fair Trade events. This will not only allow you to show your support for Fair Trade and help them continue their mission.

-Educate yourself! Change begins with you. The more you know, the more you can do to ensure the products you buy come from clean origins.

-Talk to your friends about the topic. Letting them know about the issues revolving around clothing will make them think twice before buying another article of clothing without knowing where its cloth came from.

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Gregory Smith

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