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How can I shop more sustainably? What can I pay attention to?

Online commerce has grown rapidly in recent years and consumption has increased enormously as a result. By now one in two people in Germany shop online regularly. This pattern has already been established as a fixed part of everyday life. Easy return policies, free shipping and especially the convenience of online shopping makes online orders very attractive. However, one aspect that is often neglected in online retailing is the aspect of sustainability. However online shopping and sustainability do not have to be mutually exclusive!

At ACHIY, we show that both are perfectly compatible. But more on that later.

Of course, the most sustainable garment is always the one that is not produced. Second hand shopping can be a good way to get new cloth without the need of production. According to a study, the environmental impact can already be reduced by 20-30% if the life of a garment is extended by ¾ of a year. The fact that more than half of new purchases are thrown away after just one year shows what kind of throwaway society we live in. 

If you want to shop sustainably online or offline, there are a few things you can do. First of all, you should look at the country your clothes come from. Just because a garment is made in Bangladesh doesn’t mean it’s bad. There are brands like dariadeh that produce fair clothes in Bangladesh. Unfortunately, it is still the case that in the vast majority of cases, clothes have not been produced fairly if it is not explicitly stated. In addition, there is the problem that the term “sustainability” is not protected. Even companies that produce cheaply and exploit their employees can claim that their clothes are sustainable. One reason could be that they produce cloth from recycled materials.  So it’s worth checking if a store offers consistently ecological or fair textiles or if they only do green washing.

At ACHIY we are convinced that sustainability is a holistic approach. 

For this reason, we produce our multi-certified materials in an environmentally conscious way in Peru, the country of origin. Furthermore, we pay attention to a fair payment of all employees. Another aspect we attach great importance to is a well thought-out shipping system. 

This is often a big flaw with fast fashion companies. Since returns are often free of charge, consumers are encouraged to order clothes in multiple sizes and colours. In addition, clothes are usually packed individually in plastic packaging, which in turn is delivered in large boxes. The clothes themselves also often contain plastic. This mainly happens if the materials polyester, nylon and viscose are used. A lot of garbage is created by both consumption and packaging. This does not have much to do with sustainability!

The shipping system RePack which we use at ACHIY shows that it can be different and more sustainable. RePack packaging consists of recycled materials and lasts at least 20 order cycles. As a result, RePack has already been able to save 80% of CO2 emissions. 

Sustainable shopping is of course also possible in other areas besides clothing. When shopping weekly in the supermarket, you should make sure to buy seasonal and regional products. It’s worth taking a look at the seasonal calendar before you go shopping to see which fruits and vegetables are growing regionally at the moment. This can often even save you some money. If you don’t buy regional food, you should at least make sure that it has the Fairtrade seal. In addition, you should always pack a jute bag and vegetable nets in your shopping bag. A good tip is to just use regular laundry nets instead of a vegetable net. 

“Buy less, choose well and make it last”. This quote from Vivienne Westwood sums up well how to shop sustainably. Buy less, choose well and make it last. With an ACHIY sweater you fulfil all these points for sustainable and conscious consumption.

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