{A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog}

Friday, 17 June 2016

How To Lead An Ethical Lifestyle

With consumerism at an all-time high, I find myself questioning whether I’m on the bandwagon or, actually, making a conscious effort towards being an ethical consumer. I’m certainly not ‘there’ yet. Life is a continuous learning process and I’d like you to treat this post as a summary of my research (so far!) towards creating a ‘greener’ lifestyle with respect to using ethical clothing and cruelty-free cosmetics.

In my search to find a comprehensive definition to ethical and sustainable fashion, the following really stood out to me.

Ethical fashion is fashion that was made with social justice in mind. It is the fashion items that have been made using fair trade schemes, small business (hand made, local, etc), products that give back to communities/charities, and social enterprise schemes. Ethical can also include the exclusion of animal products and animal testing depending on the purchasers values.” – Katie Roberts, Sustainability in Style 

Sustainable fashion also refers to the consumer – I want to buy items that can sustain me, too. I want the price point to be appropriate, I want the style to be relatively versatile and timeless (or else, very very special!) and I want the quality of the item to be top notch. Something that is well made and fairly paid for and that will stand the test of time in terms of both structure and style.” – Faye Lessler, Sustaining Life

As reflected in the statements above, the word ‘ethical’ has several implications; what it means to me could be completely different from your understanding of it.

 Here are some common tips for having a sustainable wardrobe:

Decide your ethical/eco-friendly priorities – ethical manufacturing (safe and healthy work environments, fair trade), eco-conscious (sustainable materials, energy efficient, minimal waste), local (handmade/artisan, locally sourced material, small business) or vegan/cruelty-free (no animal products, faux fur and leather, no animal testing (cosmetics)).

Avoid impulse shopping

This is a difficult one for me but some of my tips and tricks include: ask yourself if you really need that piece in your wardrobe (if necessary, ‘sleep over it’), have a general idea of your style and what you need before you go shopping (keeping a wish-list can actually help with this process!), focus on a timeless piece.

Shop for second-hand clothing

Options include: charity shops (large selection for low prices), vintage stores (specialty clothing), and consignment stores (organised selection of quality pieces, where you can sell and trade in items).
·      Raid your parents’ wardrobes for those classic, high-quality pieces.
·      Organise clothing swaps with friends and family.
·      Care for your clothes and donate them when you’re no longer using them.

Now onto cruelty-free cosmetics, these are makeup, skin-, hair- and body-care products that have not been tested on animals. There are some cruelty-free brands that are owned by ‘parent’ companies, which continue to test on animals. Again, it is up to the consumer to decide his/her ethical priorities.

When going through my beauty stash, I was extremely chuffed to find that many of the products in there belonged to cruelty-free brands. To name a few, these include LUSH, Neal’s Yard Remedies, EcoTools, Makeup Revolution, BarryM, Sleek, Wet’n’Wild, Pixi, NARS and The Body Shop. For a more complete (and well-researched!) list of cruelty-free brands, please click on this link

PS: A special shout-out to Verena Erin, an eco/fair fashion and green beauty vlogger, whose inspirational content has encouraged me to be more aware of myself as a consumer. Check out her Youtube channel – My Green Closet.

What are your views on this issue?


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