Sustainability Tip 52: Wear Your Values

Environmental sustainability and ethics often go hand in hand.

This is no wonder, as many feel that being sustainable is a moral duty to the planet and those who live on it.  According to the Center for Humans and Nature, ethics is also inseparable from the ideas of justice, consequence, and proper use of authority which, of course, all overlap with sustainability on some level, too.

This includes the fact that climate change affects the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, even though they contribute the least to it.

Making the effort to live more sustainability, therefore, is making the choice to live more ethically, and one of the ways we can do this is choosing to spend our money well. This is because whenever we buy from brands that have a positive impact, we directly vote with our wallets for a better world.

For example, if you buy products that don’t contain palm oil, you’re helping to save orangutans and the Indonesian rainforest in which they live.

Yet, you can also buy products whose impact extends far beyond just the environment.

Let’s take a look at the fashion industry as an example. One of the most polluting industries in the worst, it is having a devastating impact on our environment. Clearly, this needs to change, and thousands of companies are now looking at how to make their clothing more sustainable.

Yet, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The fashion industry is also notorious for its failures towards its workers, particularly within their supply chains.

This includes underpaid workers, people forced to work unfeasibly long hours, women experiencing gender pay discrimination, and even child labour.

Things are changing, but definitely not quick enough for those suffering under these conditions.

Thankfully, you can help directly by buying your clothes from brands that are putting people first.

But, as usual, this is easier said than done. To help you get started, you can find a list of some sustainable and ethical clothing brands here.

You can also look into the company yourself. One thing to look out for, for example, is if they are a part of Fair Wear. This not-for-profit organisation supports brands and suppliers to drive better working conditions for the 75 million people employed globally in the fashion industry, the majority of which are women.

One clothing brand Play it Green would love to introduce you to is BAM.

BAM’s activewear is made of bamboo, which absorbs five times more carbon than hardwood trees. It needs half the land cotton does to produce the same amount of fibre, and it doesn’t require irrigation or pesticides. On top of that, it works incredibly well as a performance fabric and is quickly becoming a favourite sustainable alternative material.

As well as setting goals for zero waste to landfill, zero pollution, and zero wasted water by 2030, BAM also aims to be ‘impact positive’. To them, this means,

“To ensure fair treatment for every person involved in making BAM clothes – from the bamboo growers to our UK team. We want to go further to recognise our impact not just on the people who work for BAM itself, and not just for the people who work in our supply chain but also for the people in our community.”

BAM is also helping to fight clothing poverty, with customers able to request a postage-paid Shareware recycling bag. This can then be filled with up to five kilos of good condition clothing (not necessarily activewear) for the charity to send to those in need.

It also provides a sustainable and simple solution to the ‘buy, wear, replace’ cycle that adds to the 73% of clothing currently ending up in landfills or incinerated.

You can shop BAM’s clothing here, and to get 15% off all full-price clothing, you can use the code Play15.

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