How to buy clothes without feeling guilty

On 24 April 2013, Rana Plaza, a building that housed garment factories collapsed in Bangladesh killing more than 1,000 people. The workers were paid around $38 a month to make cheap clothes for North American and European brands. They were asked to return to work despite some cracks in the building that had been built illegally. I feel concerned with this drama because the Bangladesh workshops were working for brands I know and I buy.

drawing inspired by the Bangladesh drama

We feel incensed faced with such a tragic event but also helpless. Yet we can act at our level.

First we can contact directly clothing brands (via their website, their facebook page or by mail) to ask them to respect human rights in their factories. Why is it useful? Because brands listen to their clients.

We can also sign and spread Clean Clothes Campaign petition that asks brands to secure their factories.

Then we can try to buy more responsibly:
* Think twice before buying clothes that we may never wear
* Reuse clothes we already have. When going through our wardrobe, we sometimes find very nice clothes we had forgotten.
* Alter or repair clothes we already own, ourselves or by calling a dressmaker’s services.
* Buy second-hand clothes in shops or in garage sales
* Buy locally made clothes. Read labels to know where clothes have been made.
* Swap clothes with friends
* Buy fair trade clothes (that often are ecological too). Here are some examples of ethical fashion brands: People Tree, Veja, Ten Thousand Villages shops, the International Fairtrade Certification Mark that certifies fair trade cotton…
* Learn to sew or/and to knit in order to create our own clothes.
* Buy good quality clothes to keep them for some time

If you have other ideas to buy clothes while having a clear conscience, feel free to share them in the comments section.

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  1. Pingback: What is the price of ethical clothes in France? | ApollineRApollineR

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