NICE Holiday Consumer: It’s Easy Being Green

Written by on December 4, 2012 in Fashion, Women - No comments

Earlier this year, forward-thinking members of the fashion industry got together in Copenhagen for a global conference on sustainability. One of the many notable initiatives to emerge from that gathering was the notion of a NICE (Nordic Initiative Clean and Ethical) Consumer. The goal of this initiative was to inspire changes that could lead consumer behavior toward more sustainable fashion consumption, covering the purchase, use, care for and disposal of fashion goods and accessories.”

While this is clearly the season of consumption on a large scale, it nonetheless remains a real possibility to shop responsibly as any NICE consumer would.  In much the same way that conscious food consumption begins with reading the label, the same is true for clothing shopping. You probably already buy organic food and produce when possible. You may even meditate or have some sort of yoga practice because taking care of your body and soul is important to you even if you don’t always do the practice. That same level of thought and consideration can be applied to holiday shopping as well. You don’t have to be an activist or even know how many gallons of water it takes to produce a typical pair of jeans (2900 gallons). You just have to care.

There are two things to notice when reading a label. They involve fabric content and production location. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be 100% organic to be sustainable. Lyocell, linen, and hemp in any form require little or no toxic chemicals in the growing and/or production process.

Where something was made is also a key consideration. It’s best to choose items that were made locally, which reduces the carbon footprint of the item. However, depending on where you live, local production may not guarantee a sweatshop-free environment.  Fortunately, there is a great new app for the smartphone called Free2Work that will allow you to use your phone to quickly verify whether an item was made in a sweatshop or not.

Secondly, consider artisanal-made items this year for that unique gift that won’t be easily forgotten. It’s probably one of the easiest ways to be both eco-friendly and provide a special gift or not look like everyone else at the office party. There are several enticing options right now from sites like Ethical Ocean, which has a wide array of reasonably priced ethically produced merchandise from socks to sweaters and more. For more upscale items consider shopping the Vogue Vert site. They have truly luxurious scarves and wallets to name just a few.  Bonus: they are offering 20% the entire month of December.

Finally, both Ecofabulous and Eco Fashion World have gift guides on their sites for more ideas about shopping for items that look good as well as do good in the world.


About the Author


Oceana Lott travels the world and writes about ethical fashion from her home in the San Francisco Bay Area. In addition to her blog, titled Oceana’s Canvas, you can follow her on Twitter at OceanasCanavas, Facebook at Oceana’s Canvas – Ethical Style, and Pinterest at Oceana’s Canvas.

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