Embark on your journey to becoming an Agent for Change here. These are four things you can do to be an Agent for Change and an ethical consumer.
1. Look at labels
The easiest way to know you are reducing your impact on people and the environment with your purchases is to look for products that are:
- Local, from independent shops
- Made by small-scale/local/‘ethical’ companies
- From a co-operative
- Fair trade, organic and/or GM-free
- Eco-friendly and/or animal-friendly
- Energy-saving/second hand
But, outside of these, you often have to do your own research.
Use the internet to look at company websites, google brands for scandals, and check out our useful links to websites and guides to see if the brands you purchase have been researched by an independent consumer organisation.
3. Email your favourite brands
It is always good to ask the company themselves about the information you find, or if there is no information available about them on the internet, request it from them personally. Some companies need consumer pressure to encourage them to enter the complex world of their supply chains. Here is some helpful wording and questions that you can use (and improve on) to send emails to your favourite brands on your journey to becoming an agent for change:
I am a long term wearer/user/consumer of your products.
I love the way your... (clothes look, feel, make me feel, last/ the taste of your products, xxxx is my all time favourite chocolate bar/I am your biggest fan! Etc...)
As I become more aware of my links to others all around the world, and the impact that we have on them and their environments, I am looking into the supply chains of the products I buy, and I’m hoping you can help me out. I would love some more information about the products I buy from you, and look forward to your response.
The following questions concern (all of your branded products/just the xxxx product): (Choose questions from the following list that fit your particular ethics when it comes to impact on people, animals and the environment)
- Where is it made?
- How were the people involved in producing it treated?
- Were they paid a fair wage?
- Did they work in decent conditions?
- What is your process for gathering information relating to the treatment of the workers?
- What pollution or other environmental harm was caused by producing it?
- How far has it been transported?
- How much packaging does it have?
- How much energy does it use?
- Is it recyclable and/or biodegradable?
- What is your process for gathering information relating to impact on the environment?
- Were animals harmed during its production?
Take a selfie showing your label and ask the brand #whomademyclothes? on your favourite social media platform and see what happens. Visit our research page to read more about this campaign by Fashion Revolution.
Now, depending on the replies you receive, and whether you think these companies have enough concern for their impact on our world, maintain or CHANGE your behaviour!