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Buy ethical, wear ethical and be ethical

2024-04-11

Buy ethical, wear ethical and be ethical

For many of us, it can prove challenging to avoid the convenience of fast fashion. Buying on-trend pieces at a lower price point is certainly tempting, especially when you can buy something new with a simple swipe on a screen. But, for the shoppers out there who want to “add to cart” with a conscience, consider exploring ethical fashion to serve you (and the natural world) for the better.

Lightbulb with plant filament

Timberland’s all about sustainability and ethical fashion from day one. That’s why we’ve made the bold commitment to plant 50 million trees around the world in the next five years. We’ve teamed up with 7 partners around the globe to bring our Plant The Change™ initiative to life. 

But, let’s be honest, the seed of any sustainable initiative starts with you. For many people, trees are taken for granted. But just like planting a tree in your local community, something as small as changing the way you shop can have a major impact on future generations. Read on to explore how our sustainability mission comes to life through ethical means, and how you can embrace ethical fashion this season, too.

Wait, what is ethical fashion?

Ethical fashion, also known as sustainable fashion, is a blanket term that refers to the sustainable design, production process, selling, and purchasing of products for the better of the environment. While the term itself is admittedly open-ended, the key here is to avoid mainstream fashion in favour of pieces that comprised of eco-friendly materials and made with mother nature in mind.

If you’re hoping for a quick-hit summary, here’s our take on fast fashion explained in minutes. In the last decade or so, so-called “fast fashion” has taken the industry by storm. The term is used to describe an extremely profitable business model that’s rooted in replicating high-end designs at an extremely low cost for the consumer.

While on the surface, this may seem like a positive, the mainstream fashion business model is notorious for not paying workers a living wage in less-than-ideal working conditions, especially in developing countries. This, in turn, has a profoundly damaging impact on the natural ecosystems around the world.  

How to buy ethical clothing

If you’re wondering how to buy sustainable clothing, then good news – you’ve come to the right place. Buying ethical clothing is a solid deal for you and for the planet. In addition to shopping sustainably, ethically-certified clothes tend to be higher quality and more durable than mainstream alternatives. 

By avoiding fast fashion, you’re not contributing to a never-ending cycle of consumption that is doing irreversible damage to the forests, oceans, and mountains we call home. While how and where you shop naturally comes down to you and your preferences, here are a few tips on how to buy ethical clothing in the modern market. 

Invest in classic, long-lasting pieces

The first step in building a sustainable wardrobe is to invest in basic pieces that will last a lifetime. For instance, every eco-friendly boot in our Icons Collection is made using the latest footwear technology and unparalleled craftsmanship that provides the ultimate comfort and durability. Guaranteeing superior quality is not just a sales gimmick, it’s actually a sustainable approach to shopping. 

Many fast-fashion retailers sell lower-quality materials that won’t last longer than a season, in the hopes that you’ll re-buy a new wardrobe every few years. Timberland, on the other hand, offers high-quality pieces that are completely classic so that you don’t have to purchase the same thing twice. 

Overhead view of a forest

Keep an eye out for recycled materials

Another key to buying ethically is to invest in pieces made from recycled products, single-use plastic, or cruelty-free elements. From recycled leather to eco-friendly shoes, take a look at the tag of your clothes to ensure it was made sustainably. 

For example, we recently launched the Sustainable Clothing collection made from 100% organic cotton. The cotton is all grown without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides that can harm the soil, and a high-quality construction aligns to the global organic textile standard. 

Buy sustainable shoes

Hit the ground running with a solid pair of shoes or eco-friendly trainers made from recycled plastics. Be sure to read the product description closely to determine that product is constructed, at least in part, of sustainable materials.

Connect with the company’s mission

Invest in gear with heart and intention behind it. Conduct thorough research on the brand and explore what they are all about. Determine if they clearly state their mission on their website, and evaluate closely whether their core values align with yours.

Family repairing clothes

Here at Timberland, we created the Responsibility Page as a hub of communication to our customers on all things sustainability, corporate responsibility, innovation, and more. 

From planting eucalyptus trees to sourcing merino wool or reducing the amount of ocean plastic in circulation, we’re always on a mission to achieve eco-sustainability. The first step in creating a positive impact is open communication with our consumers on how we, as a collective, can work together for a brighter and better planet.