You may be aware that we live in the age of fast fashion. The most critical part of its definition implies that fashion is not only moving fast from runways to consumers, but to the garbage as well. What role does online shopping play in this? Is retail e-commerce beneficial for the environment?
Online shops may just be one cog in the circular economy machine, but they are intertwined with all of its elements. To help you see the full picture, we’ve done some research. Let’s look into the benefits for the environment when you shop for clothing online.
Less Driving = Lower Carbon Footprint
Theere is a huge difference between online shopping and shopping directly at brick-and-mortar stores. Did you know that a full 22% of a garment’s climate impact comes from the process of a consumer driving to the store to try something on?
Every time you find something that you like and decide to actually visit the shop to try it on before purchasing it, you are affecting the environment we are fighting so hard to preserve.
Yes, the clothing you purchase online still has to be delivered to your doorstep; that drive also has an impact on the environment. This carbon footprint is significantly smaller, however, because delivery services get items to all customers via just a couple of trucks and via the most optimized route.
That’s why it’s a good idea if, the next time you think about shopping, think online! You won’t have to drive all the way to the shop to try something on. There are plenty of high-quality pictures and videos online to help you get a great idea of what you are going to buy.
MIT research from 2013 corroborates our story. In fact, online shoppers leave half the carbon footprint than traditional shoppers. Most of the environmental benefit comes from not driving from store to store to compare garments and prices.
Reducing the Use of Plastic Bags
Single-use plastic bags are the number one source of ocean plastic pollution. They are an environmental disaster both on land and sea. In fact, up to 80% of ocean plastic pollution comes from land-based sources. Each year, 100,000 marine animals die because of plastic bags.
On top of that, we can’t speed up the degradation of plastic bags. It takes 500 years for a plastic bag to degrade. But it doesn’t degrade completely. They become micro-plastics that continue to absorb all sorts of toxins and pollute the environment.
When shopping online, you won’t be getting single-use plastic bags. Some of the most popular brands even use eco-friendly shipping packages to protect the environment and prevent pollution. This includes compostable and recyclable materials. By shopping online, you will also help!
If your favorite shop hasn’t gone online, you can still help. Make sure to use your own reusable bags when shopping.
Deeper Research into Brands and Specific Choices
When shopping in brick and mortar stores, your hands are tied. The only thing you can learn about brands and their specific choices is directly from them. Unfortunately, the information on labels and posters in the shop is not enough to learn all about the brand and make an informed purchasing decision. This is where online shopping wins the battle once again.
If you truly want to preserve the environment, you want to give your money to eco-friendly brands. And the internet is the best place to do a little deeper digging about brands and their specific choices. You can double-check everything a brand claims on consumer forums and social media.
Researching while shopping online is really convenient and effortless. All you have to do is Google the brand in question and look for its eco-friendly program. If there is one, we are sure that you are going to be able to find it.
Using Specific Apps To Know Whether Brands Are Sustainable and/or Ethical
Millions of people ready to contribute to saving the planet. Fortunately, some of them came together and made specific apps you can now use on your phone. These apps are designed to weight in various factors and rank brands in terms of ethical work processes and sustainability. More importantly, the most popular and trustworthy ones are available for both Android and iPhone users.
One of these apps is “Good On You.” It evaluates each brand’s impact on the plant, people, and animals and gives a brand one of 5 different ratings. The information is pulled from brands, but also from PETA, GOTS, and Fair Trade.
There are also websites that can help you make pro-environmental decisions when shopping. “GoodGuide” is one of those websites. It has a magnificent scoring system to help you distinguish eco-friendly brands from those that are not. There is also a “GoodGuide” app that you can use to research brands on the go.
Boosting the Circular Economy
Here at Bank & Vogue, we are cognizant of all the benefits online shopping has to offer to the environment. Since we are proudly invested in protecting the planet, we have partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in an initiative of brands that work with high-quality standards for the environment. Most of these brands have shifted to selling online goods.
If you choose online over traditional shopping, this will impact “.com” store returns (fear not, those don’t go to landfill – they are actually resold in bulk – which we facilitate). This means that they will continue to deliver goods in eco-friendly packaging, and manage to sustain eco-friendly production processes.
Here at Bank & Vogue, we give our best to put an end to fast fashion and build a better and green circular economy. Thanks to these efforts, we are able to provide a second and very often a third life for used goods. By promoting reusing and recycling, we hope to prevent the creation of new landfills and build a sustainable future.
Contact us to learn more or to participate in the Circular Economy.