As the fashion industry has grown, there are an increasing number of people who want to be able to buy clothes without any unethical practices involved. This cannot be easy when purchasing clothing, as there is usually very little information on the brands themselves, what they produce, and how they make it. It’s difficult to look up the processes that go into making garments. Those who want to buy ethically sourced clothes turn to companies that are transparent in their sourcing and production practices to ensure that they are getting a garment that has been made with no unethical practices involved. To ethically source garments for your custom merch, one needs to:
1. Pick and Prioritize Your Ethical Battles
Ethical sourcing can be a time-consuming and tedious task. Rather than at the outset trying to figure out your moral sourcing needs, pick and prioritize your battles and set them in order of importance. Decide on the brands you want to buy from, what issues they are trying to improve through their practices and what you are willing to spend. Creating a list of ethical brands that have things you want will force you to prioritize them when looking into your other needs.
2. Choose a Garment That Was Made or Sourced Ethically
Several steps are involved in ensuring that you buy ethically sourced garments for your custom merch. The first step is to choose an attire made or sourced ethically that suits your business needs. You should find this information quite easily online, but not all brands disclose where their products are made. If the brand sources from multiple countries or factories around the world, they may not have any way of informing you whether they use ethical practices or not. Ask around your network and see if you can get information from previous buyers. This is the most time-consuming part, as you must research these brands as much as possible to determine whether they are good business allies.
3. Choose a Design That Encourages Action
After you have found a brand that you feel is ethical, the next step is to look at their collections and see what designs support your mission. This is important because if the product design does not encourage action, it might not lead to action by the consumer. The big thing about ethical sourcing is that people need to feel like they are doing something good with their purchase. This includes not just the clothing but also knowing that the product was made ethically and feeling like you are making a difference. This cannot be easy when looking at items that support your mission because they may be more expensive or complex to buy than other products.
4. Be Patient and Support the Brand
After doing all this research, you can finally make your purchase and support the brand by buying their products. This is an essential step because if you do not purchase these products, then the designer does not get rewarded for doing these good practices. This helps create a growth cycle for ethical sourcing and allows more brands to get involved with this. Most importantly, it conveys to other brands that you want more ethical products, encouraging them to create more sustainable practices.
Be sure to prioritize the brands you want to buy from and contact them about their current practices. You should also be able to find brands who are willing and able to provide you with the information that you need, which will let you know whether they fall in line with your mission statement. If you’re looking to start a sustainable business and sell items you’ve created, then you must ensure that what you’re selling is ethical.