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11 Buys That Make You Feel Like A Better Human

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    Living a perfectly curated and stylish life (i.e. buying a new wardrobe every season and constantly getting rid of outgrown styles) can feel downright wasteful and costly. But that doesn’t mean shopping has to be a guilt-ridden pleasure; simply being more informed about where products come from can help kick-start a more thoughtful shopping experience.

    And ethical shopping isn’t as stodgy or difficult as you may think. Many trendy companies are taking active steps to becoming more environmentally friendly, often committing to transparency about how their goods are manufactured. From indie designers who work with family-run factories to the best new brands adapting the one-for-one donation program to products from The Body Shop made from fair-trade ingredients, consider this guide a primer in socially conscious shopping. Doing good has never looked so chic.



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    Fair Trade
    Fair trade is exactly what it sounds like: It’s the ethical exchanging and exporting of goods, primarily from developing countries. This means the workers making the products are paid fairly, working conditions are safe and not exploitative, and all parties are transparent about the trading process. It’s a no-brainer, really. New Zealand brand Kowtow, which has a penchant for oversized and structural basics, exclusively uses 100% fair-trade, organic-certified cotton. (Bonus: No fancy dry cleaning required!)

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    British brand Chinti & Parker operates on its own “buy better” philosophy, which means cofounders Anna Singh and Rachael Wood only partner with fair-trade factories. This blushing duffle coat is waterproof (!), making it a major score for all the spring showers to come.

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    In addition to producing her own collection of whimsical and dreamy home goods, Brooklyn-based designer Aelfie Oudghiri often partners with skilled artisans for truly unique, mind-blowing pieces. Case in point: This one-of-a-kind basket, produced in collaboration with Indego Africa, is handcrafted by Rwandan women. And all proceeds go toward artisans for educational training programs.

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    Donation Programs
    And that brings us to donation programs. The “one-for-one” business model, popularized by the likes of Toms Shoes and Warby Parker (which donate one of their own products for every one sold for-profit), has been adapted by all sorts of lifestyle and fashion brands. For example, for every pair of THINX's period underwear sold, the brand sends funds to AFRIpads in Uganda, which trains women to make and distribute reusable pads.