The New Year is here and many of us our making our resolutions for 2017. Why not resolve to be more #labelconscioUS in the New Year? Even if you don’t buy Made in the USA - educating yourself on the who, what, where and why of the items you purchase is the first step to being a “Conscious Consumer”. That is the true mission of #labelconscioUS. To help others make an educated decision about the products they purchase. Here is a quick guide on how you can start.
Shop Small. Yes, you hear this often but boutiques have a closer relationship with the designers and manufacturers. They don’t carry huge runs of clothing which makes it easier for them to purchase from small, Made in America brands. Many items are exclusive to their shop so you won’t walk into a party wearing the exact same outfit as someone else.
Shop at consignment stores and Ebay. You know the saying "a classic never goes out of style”? Well, it’s true! Most of my husband's wardrobe comes from 2nd hand sources and let me tell you- it’s annoying how many compliments he gets! I mean- he is supposed to be MY accessory- not the other way around! There is an infinite amount of high quality vintage clothing and accessories out there. When you purchase a vintage piece for just dollars, you have money left over to cover any tailoring needs. The benefit of this type of #labelconscioUS shopping is you are recycling and repurposing items that might otherwise end up in a landfill for 200 years. Wait, what? That's right -most textiles are not biodegradable and will continue to emit harmful gases long after you and I are gone. The U.S. alone produces 11 million tons of textile waste a year from clothes that are worn only a few times and then just throw away.
Search "Made in USA" on the store websites when you shop online. Some big retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus will sort their products by this keyword making it easier to not only buy American made but to educate yourself on the brands that are Made in the USA for future use. Blows apart the theory that buying American Made is difficult.
Be willing to pay more for key wardrobe staples that are made in the USA from trusted brands with high quality craftsmanship. Look at it as an investment. Being #labelconscioUS means turning your back on fast fashion and embracing your personal style. Anyone can be trendy but it takes a true individual to have style. It is timeless, and can be tucked away in the back of you closet only to emerge with just as much excitement as the first day you bought it.
If you can’t buy Made in USA or are obsessed with something imported- make sure the brand you are “supporting” takes part in ethical and fair trade. This is tricky to verify but going back to #1 - if you shop small, many times the boutique or owner will know. It is important that your purchase isn’t contributing to the atrocities that take place in 3rd world factories such as human slavery, unsafe and sometimes fatal working conditions, sub-human wages as low as $38 a month and environmental degradation. So, although you may be getting an AAHHHMAAZING deal on a sweater - what is the underlying "cost" of that purchase?