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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Shop Like You Give a Damn: Put Your Money Where Your Ethics Are

It can be hard to find a shop that caters for a vegan’s fashion and homeware needs, whether that be shoes, handbags, yoga mats or cosmetics. But all those plant-based prayers have been answered by website Shop Like You Give a Damn, a one-stop-shop that has everything needed to create the perfect cruelty-free outfit and home.

The Netherlands-based online store was founded in 2018, by Alex, Kim and Stephan who were frustrated by how hard it was to find vegan clothing online. “We decided to start our store because for a long time it simply wasn’t possible to shop within a range of trustworthy vegan fashion items.” Kim says, “Frustrated with that fact, we thought: that is a problem that needs solving. We want to make it super easy and accessible for everyone to shop ethically”.

Ethics and aesthetics come together with Shop Like You Give a Damn, which has over 6000 items to choose from. The online retailer has clothing for ladies, gents, children and infants, all of which are ethically sourced and vegan. Every item listed on their website has to be vegan and fair and should meet some of their 14 criteria that ensure that only the most sustainable products are sold.

Why is shopping ethically so important?

According to Kim, “There are often horrible practices in (fast) fashion and the food industries that are so common, are completely hidden from the public.” That is why Shop Like You Give a Damn is creating awareness about all these issues and providing better, kinder alternatives.

The business is working on creating more transparency in the fashion business and by doing so is persuading people to make the vegan and fair choice, as sustainable as possible.  In terms of the clothing that they sell, each item has to have a vegan star rating, must be made of sustainable raw material from organic substances and be slow fashion – classic or seasonal styles. Many products are recycled materials that ensure that no additional water is wasted and no harsh chemicals are used, however, this does differ between brands.

Not only are each of the products rigorously checked, but the production companies are too. Most of the fashion companies are European or are produced in Europe – which ensures that no excessive harmful emissions are related to the atmosphere by the shipping process. Of the hundreds of retailers they use, many of these companies are 100% plastic-free, right from the product itself to the packaging material used.  

At Shop Like You Give a Damn, ethics are everything and is the basis of their brand. That is why the founders have worked with other fair fashion advocates to expand their business to a larger audience. “Other vegan and fair fashion crusaders we’ve met along the way are very eager to offer advice and help us where they can: a shared mission goes a long way.” Kim says “We all dream of that same compassionate world and will do anything to make that happen together.”

The factories that make the clothes are made in very sustainable, places that use green energy and lower water consumption. All packaging is made from non-disposable, recycled material and is plastic-free. Additionally, even the transportation of the products is sustainable, delivered by electric vehicles or bicycle. 

In the next five years, the company hopes to expand immensely following the rise in interest in vegan clothing and homeware accessories. “People are finally opening their minds and their hearts,” says Kim, “to a way of consuming that does not hurt other living beings – on a much bigger scale than we have  seen over the last years.” As the demand for ethical items rises so will the success of this online store, Kim hopes that soon enough ethical shopping will become the new normal.

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