There’s always a thrill about online shopping. You can do it without ever leaving your house, you don’t have an army of sales associates trying to upsell you on items, and you still get that familiar rush of adrenaline when your item finally arrives.
Yet for all its merits, e-commerce isn’t always friendly to the environment. In 2019, Forbes reported that within America, 165 billion packages were shipped to customers, and the cardboard used within the packaging is the equivalent of 1 billion trees. That’s not counting the plastic that goes into bubble wrap, and the carbon footprint of your item flying halfway across the globe to reach your doorstep.
On top of that, it’s also tough to figure out just how sustainable some brands are based on the images you see on the website. With that in mind, we’ve sussed out some online retail avenues that help make shopping sustainably a much easier and enjoyable process.
01 | Done Good
Think of it as a handy filter to sort through the noise. Done Good has a browser extension for Google Chrome users, which allows the site to make suggestions for ethical and sustainable alternatives based on whatever you’re looking for. On top of that, Done Good is also quick to point out that the brands stocked on their site engage in ethical and eco-friendly practices, as well as pay fair wages.
Expect to find: A wide range of products spanning clothing, accessories kidswear, homeware, and beauty products.
02 | Net Sustain
Nestled within Net-A-Porter’s website is their eco-friendly fashion initiative, Net Sustain. With quick filters that cover eco-conscious attributes such as “Vegan”, “Locally Made” and “Considered Processes”, Net Sustain’s mission is to help you shop environmentally-friendly brands without having to go through the fuss of doing background checks on the brand’s practices first.
Expect to find: Luxury womenswear and accessories from brands like Stella McCartney and By Malene Birger.
03 | Good On You
Much like Done Good, Good On You helps shoppers to do the homework on your favorite brands. They go beyond the surface and look at the brand’s practices, its impact on the environment and the materials it uses to determine how ethical each brand is. From there, they come up with a sustainability rating, which you can find under their brand directory. Furthermore, they also have an app, so you can always refer to their guide no matter where you are.
Expect to find: A sprawling directory of fashion and accessory brands.
04 | Wearwell
Think of Wearwell as your best friend that does all the shopping for you, and makes good effort to ensure that your threads are all earth-friendly. This personal shopping service starts with you answering a quick questionnaire. From there, their experts will suss out a wardrobe of eco-conscious and ethical clothing pieces for you to select from.
Expect to find: Consciously produced garments that are sourced for you.
05 | Browns Conscious
Luxury multi-label retailer Browns has also rolled out their Conscious site, which houses the best of contemporary and high-end designers. And it’s not just for women as well; the men also get a dedicated Conscious microsite that allows them to enjoy some guilt-free shopping.
Expect to find: A wide range of brands including Marine Serre, Bode and Reformation.