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Want to Shop Sustainably? Here’s What You Need to Know

If you’ve found yourself being sustainable-curious lately, then you are not alone. However, shopping for an environmentally-conscious product can seem rather perplexing, especially with all the rampant greenwashing among brands lately. But fret not, we’re here to give you the lowdown on all the things to watch out for, and how you can rest assured knowing you made the right choice.

Point of Discovery 

While social media usually tends to be the most common place for discovering new brands, we would exercise caution before blindly buying into a brand’s projected image. Consider pulling up the Good On You app instead, that performs a credible background check on brands by giving them an ethical score on a 1 to 5 scale — 5 being the best and anything 2 or below would be best avoided. The app collects over 500 data points per brand across more than 100 key sustainability issues and indicators while also weighing in on third party sources according to their scope (the issues they address) and the quality of their assurance (how well they ensure brands comply with the standards that have been set). 


Read Between the Lines

It would be wise to check on the clothing care labels with the same level of caution that you would use to check calories on a nutrition label. Usually the first thing to be snipped off upon purchase, wash and care labels contain key information on fabric compositions that can tell you whether it's sustainable or not. Most of our clothes are made of plastic; synthetic fibres like polyester, spandex and nylon, are actually made from fine strands of plastic. Due to their cheap cost, brands incorporate them widely into clothes that further go on to release invisible microplastics into our water streams with every wash. As a substitute, seek out organic cotton, hemp, vegan silk, linen and bamboo along with certifications like GOTS, Fair Trade, Bluesign and Oeko-Tex that provide further confirmation that the fabrics were created and processed responsibly. 


Learn the Lingo

Knowing a thing or two about sustainable jargon can help you tell the difference between greenwashed promotional tactics and genuinely backed claims. Here’s a brief list of need-to-know terms that can help you discover and shop better;


 

Published by: Vibhuti Vazirani/ 2020-10-12

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