Ethical Shopping organisation

Have you met the Australian Ethical Shopping organisation?

I’ve just finished reading a startling new Australian book called Wardrobe Crisis written by Clare Press who’s worked in the Australian and British fashion industry for a couple of decades. She’s editor at Marie Claire (Australia) magazine, she’s worked on major fashion publications, in design and been published widely internationally.

In other words she knows her stuff, she knows how to write it and it’s fact all the way down the line.

It seems that while many of us care a lot about where our food comes from we haven’t yet realised that there is a big crisis of ethics inside our wardrobes. If you’ve got a pair of stonewashed or distressed jeans in your cupboard you might want to look at where they were made and what effect the production of your jeans had on the local environment.

If you’re buying socks in a pack of three for $10, you might want to check out where they were made, how old the makers were and whether they had ventilation in the factory.

The peculiar thing about clothing is that we’ve reached a stage where we expect it to be cheap but no matter what we are paying, someone somewhere is paying the full price. It’s not nice, it’s distinctly uncomfortable and it’s something I’m going to be talking about here.

The Australian Ethical Shopping organisation can help you make good choices about all sorts of things that you purchase, I urge you to go to their clothing section. You can check out for the brand of clothing you are wearing right now:

  • how honest (transparent) it is about where it’s supplies come from;
  • whether Uzbek cotton is used in your clothing, the fabric made in part by forced child labour;
  • whether your clothing is made by people with fair pay and work conditions — or in sweatshops.

as well as a host of other issues. Look particularly at those companies which have been awarded a D or an F, there are some big names there you may not want to be associated with.

7 thoughts on “Ethical Shopping organisation

  1. Hi Rose,
    This issue is really too important to be ignored and I´m glad that you have shared these links. I´ve read all the D´s and F´s (well, the A´s, B´s and C´s also) and… I was horrified.
    The market is so global that even for someone living out of Australia (I´m in Europe) the list is very useful.

    Thank you, have a nice weekend
    Paula

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  2. Hi Rose. Im glad there’s been at least passing mention of fabric manufacture because that’s where most of even the ‘eco’ brands fall down. The conditions inside many fabric mills are far worse than the manufacturing shops with indentured young women, appalling air quality full of fibre particles causing lung disease and hi accident rates. Unfortunately I think some of the ethical buying sites feel that if they looked too closely at the fabric mills too, there’d be nothing left to wear, so best not look too closely.

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    1. There are so many issues aren’t there? It’s imperative that we do understand and become aware of what’s going into making our clothes, thanks for your thoughtful comment cassie.

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  3. Hi Rose. This issue is near and dear to me and causes much angst as I try to clothe 4/5 people. It’s exceptionally difficult to buy ethically to clothe a family without spending our entire household budget so our solution has been to buy used clothing from thrift stores. This takes advantage of a waste stream in the community (there’s so much of it!) but of course (I suppose) in some small way, doing so supports fast fashion indirectly.

    We do still buy some things new (undergarments and some wardrobe basics which usually get handed down) but have an extremely difficult time finding Canadian made garments in stores. I have found one Canadian clothing manufacturer called Jerico and I plan to order from them to see what the quality is like. I’m pleased that the fabrics are created, dyed, cut and sewn in Canada! SO rare.

    http://www.jerico.ca/aboutus.aspx

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    1. Sherri I know what you mean, this whirlwind of fast fashion combined with the throat throttle of undocumented supply chains has all but buried legitimate domestic clothing sources. I plan to investigate this and talk about it here on the blog.

      Thanks for dropping by.

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    2. We’re in the same boat – trying to responsibly clothe a family of four. I’m also finding that the best I can do is to shop secondhand and refrain from buying things new – and thereby not contributing to the stream of demand.

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