Shopping Ethically with The Note Passer

Today's guest post comes to us from Elizabeth of The Note Passer, one of my absolute favorite ethical lifestyle blogs. If you like our blog you will LOVE hers. You can also connect with her on pinterest and instagram. Welcome Elizabeth!

Back in October, I challenged myself to shop ethically for all of my fashion needs. I decided to do this based on my research of the conventional fashion industry. As I became more aware of the abysmal labor practices, environmental destruction, and animal mistreatment, I knew I couldn't continue supporting that industry. The challenge has forced me to reevaluate the way that I shop, starting with the question "Do I really need it?" I created the infographic below to visually represent the questions I ask myself and the choices I make when I want to buy something. As a result, my habits have changed and what started out as a way to shop for fashion became the way I shop for almost everything. 
Shop Infographic
I realized there are ethical alternatives for almost anything I need, whether it be new or used. I've been collecting these alternatives in a section on my blog and would like to share a few that have come to be my favorites.
Abe's Market is an online marketplace for natural goods. The product creators sell directly to the market, creating more intimate online experience. You can even message questions directly to sellers. I've made good use of their beauty and food sections, as well as their rewards program.
Instead of being a non-profit, global bookstore Better World Books utilizes capitalism to fund a number of nonprofits, like Room to Read and Books for Africa. They accept donations of books which they either sell or donate, keeping millions of books out of landfills. Every book they sell not only funds one of their 85 nonprofit literacy partners, but also donates a book to someone who needs it through their Book for Book initiative. In addition, Better World Books uses a Carbon Neutral Shopping Cart to collect a few (optional) cents from every customer at checkout, which goes to carbon balance the shipment of books and fund the Tatanka Wind Farm in North and South Dakota.
I'm sure you are all aware of Etsy. I was, but barely used it until I changed by shopping habits. More than just a place for handmade items, I search Etsy after I fail to find what I'm looking for in my local thrift shops. My recent purchases from the vintage section include a mortar and pestle and a Chemex coffee carafe. I love that buying from the handmade section pays craftspeople and supports entrepreneurship.
I have used Twice more than any other site so far. Twice is a second-hand clothing marketplace where you can buy and sell your gently used clothing. All you have to do is request a bag, make sure your items meet their requirements, and send them off to be accepted! They offer you cash or store credit in return. I've only sold once, but I've bought several items and have been very pleased. Shopping on Twice provides an online experience similar to other stores, but with all the ethical benefits of buying second-hand.
Yerdle's mission is to reduce the durable consumer goods we all need to buy by 25%. Yerdle is kind of like eBay, except the currency is credits (earned by sharing items or through referrals) and the items are free. Yes, free! I've been a member for a while, but my interest was recently renewed by their nationwide launch and new iOS app. Instead of being confined to San Francisco and New York, this sharing community is now available across the country with flat rate $2-4 shipping. New members receive 250 credits when they sign up! 
This challenge has been eye-opening for me and I would say it has now become my credo. The more I follow this path, the easier it becomes, and blogs like Let's Be Fair certainly help! Please check out my Resources section and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I'd love to hear from you!