When I started to write this article, I didn't realize how little I know about sustainability and ethics that goes into shopping. I go into this knowing how difficult it is to research every brand and to only support good brands. However, I see the value in gaining knowledge and improving how we all shop. These things can really contribute to our environment and world, and any small step helps.

1. Have a list of cruelty-free brands.

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When I first discovered that my favorite makeup brands tested on animals, I was very upset. However, finding this list of cruelty-free brands made me see how important it is to be aware of what I'm buying. The industry of animal testing cannot be supported and simply not buying from companies who do this is just a small step in the right direction, but it is also an imperative one. So the next time you need to buy something, this is a great resource to have on hand to know your money is going to the right place.

2. Have reusable bags instead of using plastic ones.

Free People

If plastic bags end up being littered or thrown into the ocean, this can be very harmful to the environment. Animals can either get tangled up in them in the ocean or mistake them for food which can hurt them and even kill them. Plastic bags are extremely wasteful and cause serious destruction to sea life and other creatures. Reusable bags are a much better alternative that are very cheap and will last a long time. You can buy these totes for as little as $0.57 each! One purchase of reusable bags and you can prevent a lot of death and pain for our environment.

3. Research how brands are sourced.

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There are a lot of companies that still get their products from sweatshops. This is a problem that is so under the radar that many do not consider it. In fact, when I saw this list I was shocked at the popular brands that were named, but they are not all. Sweatshops use child labor and grossly underpay their workers. This is not a practice that should be condoned and it is appalling that these conditions still exist in 2019. Our generation needs to stand up to this and fight for the rights of these workers. It is important that these brands realize their impact and do better. This article gives a lot more information for further research.

4. Don't buy from companies that are led by unethical people.

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It is important not to support people that are doing unethical things. People who have companies that are trying to sell you things should be held accountable for their actions. Their business practices should be appropriate, but also their personal lives should be taken into account as well. If they are promoting racism, sexism, or other harmful things, then it may be a good idea to look elsewhere to buy a product.

5. Check out charitable brands.

The Little Market

For instance, Lauren Conrad has a company called The Little Market which is a fair trade shop that works with artisans from around the world. This company is about empowering women and giving them the opportunity to make an income, care for their children, and make a positive impact on their communities. There are so many of these charitable brands out there that would be a great thing to support and know you are making a bit of a difference in people's lives.

6. Go vegan.

Project Grace

Going vegan doesn't have to just be about food, but it's also about our clothing and shoes. This is avoiding fashion that was made from animals, such as leather. The great thing is that there are so many faux alternatives that are just as stylish and much cheaper. Here is a source that shows some companies that are committed to vegan clothing. These brands are also serious about their working conditions for their employees, which is great! Many of them are doing more than just creating clothes to help the environment, so supporting them is a big help.

My goal for this article is to provide information and try to help our environment and workers a little bit. This only scrapes the surface and I really encourage any of you to do more research if you'd like. I really want to show that we can all make a difference in this world and that it isn't as difficult as we think.