"Where You Shop Matters" -Raven Deaira

Where You Shop Matters

by: Raven Deaira

This is our only home. In 2020, over 3.4 million, yes- million, acres have gone up in flames this year. The most recent cause of a blaze? A smoke bomb used at a gender reveal party. 

If this fire has shown us anything, it’s that most of us living on this beautiful Earth fail to consider her or others when we make our decisions. If we had more care for her and other humans, then we wouldn’t have people evacuating their homes, stuck inside for weeks due to poor air quality, and for goodness sakes- we wouldn’t blow up massive smoke generating devices in a dry area all for social media likes and views. 

While it may seem as though one person’s choices wouldn’t make that much of a difference… we can clearly see that one person’s choice can make a HUGE impact. We have to step back and realize that even as one person, one family, or one household- our individual choices matter. Choices like:

  • Using reusable products instead of disposable plastic
  • Recycling and upcycling 
  • Carpooling and walking more
  • Choosing to be eco-friendly and low waste

Those are some of the most common ways people think to change their carbon footprint, however most people don’t realize that clothing and the fast fashion industry is causing alot of environmental harm. This means we need to be conscious of where you shop, spend your money and be aware of where your products are sourced from

Yes, where you shop really does matter because the fashion industry produces 10% of the world's carbon emissions and is the second largest consumer of our water supply. That’s over 79 billion cubic meters of water (that’s 32 million olympic size swimming pools) of water per year. All for clothing to end up unworn, sitting in closets, stores, or the trash. It’s estimated that one garbage truck full of clothing is added to the landfill every second. Every second. 

It’s clear that we consume clothing in excess, contributing to pollution of our planet and the terrible fashion industry and slave labor. It’s time to choose to be better.

Here are three ways to do better:

  • Shop with small shops and boutiques. Small shops are the backbone of our communities. We need to pour our money back into the local communities in which we live, into the hands of people that care about you as a customer- which is why they often have better customer service than big companies. To a small business owner, your purchase matters and you’re not just another order number. Small companies often make items by hand, or in small batches to keep waste low.

  • Shop with companies that use small batch manufacturing. Small batch manufacturing allows companies to order a smaller number of products per order. They use environmentally friendly production practices and pay workers a FAIR wage.

  • Shop with companies that pay workers a fair wage, and say NO to slave labor. While I know we all have been spoiled by being able to order something online, and have it at our doorstep in 48 hours.. It’s time to take a long, hard look at fast fashion. Oftentimes, these pieces are manufactured to be sold at a cheap price point, NOT for longevity. This leads to people constantly buying more, which is great for companies pockets, but not at all for our planet. These companies are also not committed to producing pieces with high quality materials. Designers have allowed production to be contaminated with pesticides, formaldehyde and other known carcinogens. Yikes! Our skin is our largest organ, we don’t want to wear contaminated clothing. It’s also unfair for workers to work with these toxic materials, and not be paid fairly if at all. Labor laws are inadequate, and leave many women & children to be victims of forced labor.Think about it, in order to keep prices low- companies have to make them cheap. Slavery still exists, and we’re contributing to it by supporting the fashion industry.

  • While this isn’t an overnight cure to the damage that’s been done, this is the key to making changes.