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Becoming a Better Consumer
In a world where we have unlimited options, less is more becomes a tough concept to follow. But as rightly quoted by E.F. Schumacher, “Infinite growth of material consumption in a finite world is an impossibility”. While we live in said abundance right now, our natural resources remain limited, bound to run out one day. What we, as consumers and shoppers, can do is prolong the process by making smarter choices. In comes, ethical shopping.
Ethical shopping, quite simply, is defined as shopping for products and services that meet your moral and personal beliefs. While these beliefs may vary from person to person, ethical shopping begins with the search for eco-friendly and sustainable values in a product, two pillars that we work on constantly at Buna to not just be ethical consumers but also provide our customers with a better choice. And here is our guide to dipping into the pool of ethical shopping"
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Understand garment tags
Garment labels are the appendix to your product, the guide to their production, usage and care. A garment’s tag talks about its origin and fabric, which answers a lot of questions about the production cycle of the piece. To promote and support local businesses, never miss checking their place of origin. A tag often also carries with it some certification, which indicates that the piece has gone through a thorough process of investigation by a well-known body in order to get the stamp of ‘organic’ or ‘recycled’.
The best that you can do to prolong the life of this beautifully made garment is to read the care instructions on the label. This will help you in giving the garment the care that it deserves to last a lifetime.
Know your fabrics
An important part of shopping ethical fashion is learning what fabrics are good for you and the environment alike. Fabrics such as organically produced cotton and linen are not just great fabrics for your body but also a better choice than polyester fabrics. We as a brand enjoy working with a lot of handwoven and natural fabrics. These fabrics are a more ethical choice for production and consumption as they are made with organic fiber and sustain many indigenous craft clusters in India. While machine-made is an easier choice, hand-made brings with it a touch of warmth and a uniquely perfect imperfection of human error.
Ask questions about the production
One of the first steps to be more mindful when shopping is knowing where to start and how your purchase travelled to you. We suggest researching about a brand before taking the dive. We are lucky to be living in times when information is at our disposal. A simple online search would reveal a lot about how brands produce their garments. And if that is not enough, don’t end your research there. Reach out to the brand and ask any questions you might have. This not only helps you make a more informed choice but also pushes brands towards transparency in production practices. The production cycle information reveals the fair practices, fair wages and consumption of resources of a brand.
Shop at thrift stores
Flea markets, charity stores and thrift shops are wonders waiting to be explored. Thrift clothing is not just a better choice for the environment but also saves one the money spent on a new product. It may surprise you how often you could chance upon a unique, one-of-a-kind product that you’d see nowhere else but at thrift stores. And we love the excitement that comes with finding that one unique piece, often fixing it and mending it to prolong its life.
Invest in classics
Livia Firth, the founder of Eco Age (a company that certifies brands for their sustainability) began the #30Wears campaign to encourage us to only buy an item if we really know that we'll wear it. She told us: "The biggest message is every time you buy something, always think, 'Will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?' If the answer is yes, then buy it. But you'd be surprised how many times you say no.” When we came across this campaign, it made us think how often we tend to buy statement pieces that are for one particular occasion and we forget to revisit them for years. Our suggestion for this would be to invest in long-lasting classics that help you build a capsule wardrobe. These classics steer away from trends and become your best friends that you keep revisiting every few days or weeks.
She told us: "The biggest message is every time you buy something, always think, 'Will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?' If the answer is yes, then buy it. But you'd be surprised how many times you say no."
When we came across this campaign, it made us think how often we tend to buy statement pieces that are for one particular occasion and we forget to revisit them for years.
Our suggestion for this would be to invest in long-lasting classics that help you build a capsule wardrobe. These classics steer away from trends and become your best friends that you keep revisiting every few days or weeks.
Shop small, shop local
The pandemic has been a tough time for small, local businesses. A locally made product might be more expensive but due to the fact that local businesses incur a lot more expenses in ensuring that their employees are paid fair wages and their materials are sourced from other local businesses. In supporting a local business, not only are you building a self-sufficient community but are also reducing the carbon footprint of your purchase.
Saying yes to every purchase may not always be the right answer. Shop small, shop less and shop mindful, our key to becoming better consumers. We, as a brand, are working towards becoming a better choice for customers today and in years to come. Our garments are all made in India, employing several artisans and craftsmen in the production process, which is largely carried out by hand. From the bag that carries our garment to our shipping material, we focus on elements that can either be recycled in a short period or reused. We aim to create clothing that transcends seasons, becoming wardrobe favorites for years. We aim to become a better option.