As COVID-19 brings the global economy to its knees and threatens the livelihoods of millions, sustainability advocates are afraid that all the progress the sustainability industry has made over the last few years will be lost. If we want sustainable brands to continue flourishing post-COVID 19, we need to help them stay alive now.
Buy from sustainable brands
It’s pretty straight-forward. If we want the brands we love to stay afloat during these difficult times, purchasing their products will considerably help them to do so. The epidemic has changed what we consume and the way we consume drastically, but if there is anything you need, such as loungewear, skincare or masks, purchasing it from a sustainable brand can make a world of difference. £20 could help a indidual keep their business going for another day. Help small, ethical and sustainable brands as much as you can.
We recently made a guide to sustainable loungewear and you can buy masks from sustainable brands like Jyoti and Reformation.
Be the watchdog
As consumers in the digital age, we have a lot of power. It’s important that we celebrate the brands who are making the world a better place and criticise those who are thinking only of themselves. Brands like LVMH are using their factories to manufacture hand sanitiser. On the other hand, I Saw It First has resorted to capitalising on a crisis by promising its first 1000 customers a free bottle of sanitiser. Celebrating the brands who have a strong sense of social responsibility and community is important as it helps build a world where brands are accountable for their actions.
Buy Gift Cards
Gift cards are not the most personalised of gifts, but if some of your friends are sustainability lovers, your gift will probably mean a lot to them as you are helping brands stay alive during a challenging time. COVID 19 is sounding the alarm for big and small brands, but for small sustainable brands, the situation is particularly dire. Production is low and consumers are not buying much; it’s a bad combination for the economy. Gift cards are a great way of supporting those brands. Make sure your gift cards last a long time before you purchase them. Keep in mind that if these brands shut down, you might not be able to get that money back. If you have some extra money, it’s a great way of supporting sustainability as long as you’re aware that it comes at a risk.
You can actively play a part in protecting suppliers and garment workers by signing the petition #PAYUP – a campaign from Change.org to push major fashion labels such as Gap, Primark, Mothercare, Kohl’s, URBN (Urban Outfitters, Free People, Anthropologie) to pay their suppliers. Since the pandemic has struck, over $3 billion worth of orders have been paused or cancelled. This accounts for the income of millions of garment workers whose families are vulnerable. According to Change.org, “many have already been sent home with no severance, savings, or access to healthcare”.
You can show your support for sustainable brands by investing in their businesses. Some sustainable brands like Riceco and Common Objective rely on investments from the public to build their business. You can find them on Kickstarter and Crowdfunder.