What does it mean to shop ethically?

Shop ethically. Shop responsibly. Shop slow fashion. What exactly does any of that mean??The deeper we dive into this subject, the more clear it is that shopping responsibly is not black and white. It is a whole lot of gray. 50 shades of gray. And with all of that gray, it makes it really hard to perfect ethical shopping. So what’s a girl to do?Our opinion? If you can’t commit 100% (and that’s ok – it’s hard!), pick the values that are most important to you. Below we are going to lay out some of the most common ways to “shop ethically” and what each of them mean. Then you can decide for yourself in which way you want to support ethical/sustainable/slow fashion.1. Support Handmade. At ZIVELI all of our bags and baskets are handcrafted by our women artisans. Each piece takes days to complete.2. Buy Fair Trade. Support companies who respect human rights and believe in a living wage for their workers. Do a little research and see which ones are enforcing fair trade regulations. At ZIVELI our artisans come first, and we always ensure that our artisans earn a fare wage for each product made, depending on time taken to make it. All our artisans are able to provide health care, education and make a sustainable living for their families.3. Look for Chemical Free/Organic Items. The chemicals and dyes in the majority of our clothing and accessories is harmful not just to the environment, but to the workers creating the garments and accessories as well as the consumer who is wearing the clothing and accessories. Shop for items made of organic material and natural dyes to avoid harmful side effects.At ZIVELI we do not chemically process any of our natural fibres, and use only natural dyes.4. Go Eco-Friendly. Buy items made of natural fabrics that don’t harm the environment. You want to look for textiles and accessories that will naturally decompose instead of sitting in landfills for decades.At ZIVELI, all our products are organic and compostable, made only with natural fibres.5. Pick Vegan or Cruelty Free. Buy cruelty free items and support the rights of animals.At ZIVELI we work with vegan leather alternatives like Malai, which is a vegan alternative to leather, made with the waste from the coconut industry.6. Thrift. Thrifting is all about using money and other resources mindfully. It is about shopping on a budget and avoiding massive amounts of clothing and accessories ending up in landfills. Choose well.Buy things which you love and will use multiple times.Take good care of your belongings and make them last.7. Shop Local. By supporting the small businesses in your community, you are keeping your money in the local economy. We believe wholeheartedly in supporting the local retail scene, which not only supports local jobs but also puts our tax money to good use.8. Wear What You Buy. A Lot. Currently there is a campaign, #30Wears, that encourages you to wear new purchases at least 30 times. This campaign supports quality items over disposable fast fashion. Before purchasing, ask yourself if you will get at least 30 wears out of the item. Can you mix and match it with current wardrobe items? Is it versatile enough to last. The theory is anything you wear 30+ times is sustainable.A lot of these points overlap each other and several others contradict each other. Supporting cruelty free products and buying vegan often means buying products made out of synthetic materials that sit in landfills without decomposing. So choose wisely, read labels. Those items are hard on the environment. Shopping local shops may support your community and its makers, but the items might not always come from fair trade manufacturers. So do your research. Lots and lots of gray. Instead of being overwhelmed by this, it’s up to you, the individual shopper, to decide which is the best personal choice based on the values that are important to you.

Where are your priorities when it comes to shopping ethically?We would love to hear from you.Leave a comment or reach us on contact@ziveli.inShop ethically on http://www.ziveli.in

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