Tracey Martin is a Sustainable Lifestyle Leader and author and has been a certified Transformational Life Coach as well as health, life and wellness advisor for more than 25 years. Tracey’s mission is simple, to protect our natural resources, planet, and our most precious resource: humankind. She is sharing her knowledge with us in this weekly column and this week we are talking about what it means to be a conscious consumer.
With back to school in full swing, we wanted to get you thinking!
A conscious consumer has an increased awareness of what their purchases impact and who they impact.
Are you aware that there are a pair of hands around the world that has touched most things in your closet, your refrigerator and your makeup bag. Things we do every morning. eat, get dressed and apply makeup effect people all around the world.
Let’s go into your closet…
Take a look at the labels. Most likely the “Made in Labels” say China, Mexico, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia. This equates to unfair wages, dangerous working conditions and toxic dyes and finishes. Sorry to be a buzz kill but that gorgeous dress you have is not so gorgeous for the earth. This includes the luxury labels you own. The dyes and finishes that are used go right against the largest organ of your body – your skin. It deserves a little education and attention.
We buy into the media hype and advertising on the pseudo lifestyle we perceive our fashion will give us. Our clothing is more than just glossy magazines, price tags and the latest must have trends. Brands, designers, boutique owners and manufacturers have a responsibility to create the best product while leaving the best impact and least damage. As you set out to go back to school shopping with your kids, be conscious. Read labels of the clothing you buy just like you read the labels of the foods you are packing in lunches. It shouldn’t stop with clean, organic and whole food. Think a little farther and look at your closets.
Here are some great tips for sustainable school shopping. First level of sustainable practices.
- Look for natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wool, tencel, modal and of course hemp and organic cotton if possible.
- Buy “Made in the USA” brands. There are so many brands that are made here, you just have to look a little. The prices are coming down with the reshoring of manufacturing in the USA.
- Buy clothing that is considered a classic. I realize that most kids want the latest trends. Purchasing a few of these are ok, but try and purchase more classic pieces. Teach them to be creative with them. Buy less and buy better.
- Shop with brands that are doing things sustainably and have a give back program of some sort. Then at least your purchase is doing more than just providing you with a garment.
Here are some places you can find sustainable clothing:
- H & M with their “Conscious Collection” www.hm.com/sustainability
- Whole Foods carries organic cotton basics in their Whole Body section www.wholefoods.com
- Beautiful clothing for the entire family made sustainably at www.zady.com
- Fun stuff for every one www.asos.com, search eco edit
If you have comments or questions you would like to see addressed in this column, please send them to [email protected].
For a private one on one with Tracey text 602.568.4124.