StylEthics was initially created as a personal blog to share stories and snapshots featuring Alaura’s favourite brands, restaurants, shops and designers and to highlight her love of thrifted, vintage and DIY fashion and décor. Requests for personal styling, tutorials and overall positive feedback drove StylEthics to expand and offer products and services that reduce clothing waste and provide sustainable solutions for leading a conscious lifestyle.
Making ethical consumer choices is not always easy and it’s difficult to break lifelong shopping and eating habits. Whether you’re ready to take baby steps or a giant leap, hopefully StylEthics can help you on your journey.
So what is StylEthics? Alaura chose this name because ethical does not mean boring or drab. You can be a conscious consumer while remaining true to your style and your values.
Ethical consumerism generally refers to the practice of purchasing from companies that pay fair wages, provide safe working conditions and worker rights, source local, sustainable and non-toxic materials and abstain from using animal products and products tested on animals. Essentially, the production of their goods doesn’t have a negative impact on people, animals or the natural environment.
What we wear: The garment and textile industry is one the largest polluters in the world and last year was one of the worst years on record for factory disasters due to violations of health and safety codes. We are in an era of cheap, fast fashion that we purchase in bulk and we move through trends faster than ever before which has serious repercussions for the planet and each other. The simplest rule is to choose quality over quantity. Some key elements of a sustainable wardrobe include:
- Upcycled or repurposed
- Locally made
- Zero or low waste
- Fair trade / responsible labour
- Second hand or vintage
- Organic, sustainable or recycled fibres
- Natural, non-toxic dyes
- Not mass produced / high quality
What we eat: The continuous escalation of livestock breeding for both fabric and food production has disastrous consequences for our planet; responsible for more than one quarter of greenhouse gas emissions (up to half according to recent studies), mass consumption of fresh water and land degradation, not to mention the horrific suffering the animals experience in the process. At the very least, it’s time to drastically reduce the amount of meat and animal products that we consume. Eating local, organic and plant based meals is the best way to combat the issue and will significantly reduce our negative environmental impact. The proven health benefits are a bonus.
Please don’t shy away from ethical consumerism due to the fear of backlash or criticism. Ethically conscious consumer choices do not make you pretentious or hypocritical. Buying an eco-friendly dress or eating a local, vegan meal does not mean that you are required to do so at all times. No matter how big or small your attempts, you’re taking a step in the right direction, making a difference and inspiring change. In my opinion, the expectation for sustainable shoppers to practice unwavering consistency across the board is detrimental and quite often gives people an excuse to do nothing. In the words of John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, “Now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”