I sincerely hope you've been inspired to take action this month. Change starts with educating yourself about human trafficking and ethical fashion, and I believe lasting change comes as the result of small steps with big impact. Here's a few steps that we've discussed this month:
1. Look inside your closet, finding out where your clothes are made.
2. Discover your slavery footprint.
3. Choose fair trade items when shopping.
4. Download the Free2Work app to find the most ethical companies by industry.
5. Shop with companies who put your money to good use. Here's lists for casual clothing, special occasion clothing, cosmetics, and jewelry, and shoes, children's, underwear, and more.
You can go a step further by keeping up with news about human trafficking and ethical fashion. Sign up for newsletters from local or national organizations, or follow their Facebook pages. I recommend:
As for me, here is my plan going forward:
- I'll look for fair trade products first.
- If a fair trade option isn't available, I'll look for a used item from thrift stores or eBay.
- If I can't find it there, I'll buy it from a company that has a higher Free2Work grade or is made in the USA/Canada/Europe.
- I'll buy less so that I can buy better.
- I will invest in multi-tasking pieces and high quality ethically made products that will stand the test of time.
- I'll continue to go through all of my clothes every season and objectively pare it down.
- My goal is to shrink my closet down to 100 items. I'll continue to sell off and donate my clothing, anytime I buy or receive clothing as a gift, something else has to go. That's going to be really hard.
- I will be a conscious consumer, thinking about the people behind the barcode who are affected by my purchasing decisions.
And, I'll keep the Fair Trade Pledge.
“I pledge to consume responsibly. I recognize that as a consumer, my buying power matters. I understand that each product I purchase plays a role in a larger narrative, affecting the life of an individual. Because of this, I will do my best to purchase products that have been made by hands that are treated fairly. I will seek to support supply chains that treat farmers and workers fairly and demand the assurance that items I buy have been made responsibly from start to finish. This means no tolerance for child or slave labor, dangerous working conditions or substandard pay. I will no longer support systems of oppression and will insist that companies I trust operate with a conscience.”
Will you join me? Sign the pledge here.
In conclusion, there are several people I'd like to thank.
First, the people who believed in this series enough to sponsor it:
Thank you all so much!
And secondly, those who have gone above and beyond to encourage me and get involved with this series:
- Tara, for letting me bounce ideas off of you, telling everyone about the series, and your real life support, encouragement, enthusiasm, and friendship.
- Natalie, Viviene, and Matilda Joyce, for faithfully reading, leaving encouraging comments, and sharing the series with others.
- My sister Elissa, for your enthusiastic texts, emails, phone calls, comments, Facebooking, and help this month. And Evi, I love you too!
- Bailey, for your sweet email that brought me to tears more than once.
- Natalie A., for all your tweets, favorites, and retweets. Thank you for your support!
Thank you, all of you, for your words and presence this month. It means everything to me!