Shop Ethically with these 8 Tips
As the awareness of climate change, safe and equal working conditions, as well as environmental issues, continues to grow, many of us are looking to be more conscious of our purchases, and more importantly, of where such products come from. Shoppers are becoming more conscious not only of the quality of an item, but of the negative impact such products can contribute to. In the wake of all this, there is an emergence of ethical businesses who are trying to make a change in their respective industries, even if it sometimes means paying a little extra. So how can we all help and do our part? We’ve listed some factors to consider and to shop ethically:
Recycling doesn’t have to only mean sorting your garbage correctly and making sure that your plastics and paper goes in the recycling section, but it can also mean purchasing products used from recycled materials. In the last few years, there have been several companies that have focused their production on using recycled waste to create everyday items, like clothes. And this doesn’t just mean recycling old clothes into new ones. Companies like Makara Wear are recycling ocean plastic waste, such as used bottles or plastic bags, and transforming them into swimsuits.
Besides looking out for recycled items, also make sure to purchase products made out of sustainable materials such as organic cotton.
Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)
Similarly, check whether the brand you are purchasing from is GOTS certified and so the production of its products is itself considered organic. Such a certification means that the textiles used are harvested from raw materials via responsible and ethical manufacturing, whether it is the actual processing of materials, its labelling as well as distribution!
Speaking of distribution, it plays an important part in the story of a product. Last, but not least, the ways in which a product is distributed has its own set of ethical considerations to look out for. Try to shop from brands partnering with shipping organisations who themselves have attempted to use alternative and energy-efficient fuels to reduce the impact on the environment.
Support proper working conditions and ethical salaries, by ensuring that the products you purchase come from a brand with a Fair Trade certification and are produced in ethical factories.
More love, Less Chemicals
Shopping for products that do not incorporate in any part of their process harsh chemicals and/or pesticides, not only means that they are good for the environment but they are more loving on your skin. Our skin absorbs the products we put on it and can in fact affect your overall health.
It’s not just about purchasing your goods, its also about what you do after you’re done with them. Recently many retail companies, such as retail giant H&M, have provided the opportunity for buyers to dispose of their old clothing items instore and so allow that brand to recycle the materials into new products.
Make sure your money is going to the right places. Companies like Patagonia donate a percentage of their sales or profits towards environmental issues, while others have donated to NGOs and other charitable organisations. Other brands have even provided their restaurant or shop space to hold events directed towards a cause.
As a service-based provider, Laferla looks towards giving back to the community through a continuous Corporate Social Responsibility initiative whereby small donations by the whole team each month are collected and topped up by the company to donate to charities of the team’s choice at certain points throughout the year. Read about our most recent donations to the Foodbank Lifeline Foundation, Hospice Malta and Action for Breast Cancer Foundation.
Read here for a list of ethical clothing and bedding companies incorporating one or more of the above values.