I rarely buy clothes new, but if I did, I would check the brands and shops beforehand to make sure I’m supporting healthy, ethical businesses and practices. My still developing “Ethical Goods Series”doesn’t cover clothes yet, so I’ll have to defer to existing places for information. I found one site, Eco Fashion World, that bills itself as the “essential resource to sustainable designer brands and online eco fashion stores.”

To be honest, it’s cumbersome to use. There are five ways to look for stuff: by brand, store, category (clothing, footwear, accessories), eco criteria, and country, but each page is simply a long, alphabetical list with links to the store/brand profile and website, and their search box, on it’s own separate page, looks only for news articles. The only reason you may want to use this guide is for the eco criteria. Since “sustainable” and “eco” mean different things to different people, the guide lists 8 different criteria you can use to search: vegan, ethically produced, craft/artisan, custom/made-to-order (“slow fashion”), fair trade certified, organic, recycled, and vintage/second hand. Company profiles in the Eco Fashion guide have labels indicating what criteria they satisfy.

Obviously, someone might be happy that their super cutie cute cute cute wool skirt is “eco-fashion” simply because it contains 20% recycled fibers, even though it may have been made in a sweatshop, using highly toxic dyes, and animal products. (Do a Google search for “mulesing” and you’ll see why wool isn’t so “eco-friendly”). However, as more people learn that sustainability is a (w)holistic concept, those 8 criteria will soon be the definition in everyone’s mind.