This year has definitely been an eye opener for me. Ignorance is bliss, and once realization hit me, there was no turning back. Blind purchases are no longer allowed. By that, I mean that I must first research a company before buying. If they meet the ethics I expect, they are added to my shopping suggestions. Here are my current rules when scoping out a company (this is a starting point, I welcome any additional thoughts or information):
- - Transparency. The company should provide sufficient information about their products from start to finish. Otherwise, I am left thinking they have something to hide.
- - Since Patagonia says it so well, I will quote them: "There’s no excuse...for exploitation of the labor of poor people to make nice things for the better off." 1
- - Clear efforts being made to lessen their environmental impact.
I have to be honest, I know little about animal use in the fashion industry. It does concern me. Again, please share any insight you have on this topic. Here is a scenario from last night of how I approached this:
"I 'need' (would like) more warm clothes for Oregon."
After searching the usual suspects on my shopping suggestions page, I ended up really liking the Patagonia Ranchito Hoodie on Nordstrom's site. Free shipping (to arrive on or before the 24!!) and returns was appealing. But as I looked at the contents of the hoodie, I was curious how the wool was sourced. All it took was a quick search to find Where Our Wool Comes From on Pataognia's blog. Satisfied with what I read, I made the purchase.
If you are interested in the hoodie, it looks like I bought the last one available through Nordstrom. However, it is still available for free shipping and returns through Zappos in other colors. You can also purchase directly through Patagonia, however, available colors and sizes are limited.