I began this journey because I wanted to try and make a difference. To provide a place for people to shop for cool things that were made in a conscious way. This means I research each brand and product that I offer for sale in my store. What a learning experience that has been!
I feel like I am gearing up for a degree in textile management. There is a ton of information out there and also a ton of misinformation, misleading information, and contradictory information. It's very hard to know what is the truth and if your sources are reliable and objective. This has been a bit of an unexpected hiccup.
For example, you hear and see the terms sustainable, organic, fair trade, and so on thrown around quite a bit. It's a great selling point. But did you know that some companies buy these labels and don't really practice safe manufacturing methods? Apparently eco-labeling fraud is big business. Big shady business. And that's sad.
I've seen reports that companies get a small factory certified as eco-friendly, fair trade, safe working conditions, etc. and then produce a majority of their items in other unsafe, unsanitary large factories. It's a bit of a bait and switch tactic.
Another report I read found that many, many companies outright pay off inspectors and government regulators to obtain certified labeling as organic or other desirable traits without actually manufacturing the items in that process.
It's almost impossible for retailers and consumers to have a transparent supply chain and be sure that products purchased are indeed organic, sustainable, fair trade, ethically made, and so on. I'll share more as I discover it - hopefully we can make it easier for everyone to make purchases they feel good about!