Avoiding Sweatshops

So I have been thinking a lot about how to make sure I’m not giving money to companies that use child labor, promote unsafe working conditions, etc.

There are some good companies out there that make new items and seem to take care of those employees who sew for them.  After researching those companies, I then ran into the problem of the cotton fields.  What about the people who work in the fields?  How are they treated?  How are they paid?

I can’t find a great answer to buy new items, other than “it’s easier” and “I want to”.  Okay then.

I have small children.  Going into a thrift store is really difficult.  Sorting through racks to find items sounds terrible.  I know, I know, I COULD go into a thrift store, I COULD go through that- I mean, people are dying in the fast fashion industry and I’m complaining because it’s hard to go through thrift stores.  I get it, let’s move on.

There’s also the issue of finding a thrift store that pays employees decently (I’m not really sure what that means anymore) and also treats them well.  I’m not sure what a “perfect” thrift store would look like.

I don’t know if there is one right answer.  Actually, I’m quite certain there isn’t, “one right answer”.

As for my family, we are done buying new clothing from stores.  As we learn more, that might change.  I think there are enough garments that have already been produced to clothe my family.  I am buying a sewing machine.  I’m going to upcycle clothing we already have.  I have this idea to buy insanely ugly things from thrift stores and try to make them cute.  We’ll see.  That idea might not work, but I’m going to try.

Lastly, when I need to buy certain items, like a raincoat, or a dress for a special event- I’m going to use sites like thred up and schoola.  They are basically online thrift stores.  I can buy the brands I love without putting new clothing into production and I get to avoid searching thrift stores for a specific item.

I have bought from both companies before and absolutely love them.  They give you free money just to check them out- which I’m also a huge fan of.  I got dresses for both girls from them when they went to a wedding last year and have bought myself some really nice dresses as well.

School ($20 free credit to order- referral link)

Thred up ($10 free credit to order- referral link)

Again- I don’t think there’s a perfect solution, but for my family we are going used, because there’s already so much clothing in production- so much clothing that people are trying to get rid of, so much focus on fast fashion and clothing that you can just throw away.  I want to spend each dollar like it matters and oh my gosh it is hard for me.  I love buying new clothes.  I enjoy shopping…or, more accurately, I enjoyed shopping. I can’t enjoy it anymore- now that I know more.  I am determined to do better.



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