When first looking for clothes that are fair trade, it can seem like there are almost no options. Most retail stores do not have a section just for Fair Trade. But don’t be disheartened! Thanks to the internet, it is much easier to find ethically made goods in your local retail store than you first imagined.
Almost all retail stores, have an online search function. You can use this to search for items that are listed as fair trade. For some stores, such as Nordstrom, it will be that easy. For others, you will have to do multiple searches.
I also search for items made in countries I know to have laws and policies that protect the worker. For example, on Nordstrom’s website “Made in USA” brings up over 10,000 options that includes makeup, candles, clothes, shoes, etc. Made in Canada brings up 153 items, appropriately most of them are fluffy coats. Made in UK has 862 options.
Other stores, such as Modcloth, have a dedicated section for clothes Made in the USA. In these instances, I just save this section on my computer so I do not need to search for it every time I want to shop there.
Finally, I also look at the sustainable sections that Asos and H&M produce. While these may not meet the demands of purist fair trade shoppers, I believe that we can “vote” with our money. And when we shop Asos’ Made in Kenya, or H&M’s conscious line we show these major fashion brands what is important to us and what we are willing to spend our money on, and most importantly where they should expand. While this topic deserves it’s own discussion, these stores are an option any shopper should at least consider.
I hope this helps all my fashionistas out there, and hope it makes your search for fair trade a little bit easier!