Where should we (not) shop

Most of us know of at least a few sustainable shops, or a couple of ethical designers- but are there places where we really shouldn't shop? Gabi Bouvier discusses make up company, Sephora, and different approaches to buying from them. There's no absolute 'right' and 'wrong' when it comes to sustainable brands, but this piece outlines some of the decisions to consider.

When discussing a company such as Sephora, there are two key approaches you could take to them:

First, you can write off Sephora completely, claiming that even buying products from ethical and sustainable brands through their company is supporting Sephora, and therefore supporting a company that isn’t sustainable, cruelty-free or ethically made. The pitfall of this, is that if you take this approach, it is a small step to then writing off companies such as RMS Beauty and Ilia that do sell through Sephora. If you think it is wrong to buy through Sephora, even if you are only supporting select brands; then it’s likely you would also say it’s wrong to buy from those select companies because they support Sephora by allowing their products to be sold there.

The second approach would be to view supporting those same select companies through Sephora, as buying ethically while giving Sephora a reason to expand that part of its collection. It’s highly unlikely that boycotting a large company as popular as Sephora will cause it to change all its policies, or to shut down. However, showing them that there is a healthy, active interest in sustainable and ethical practices is a step in the right direction.

You can always check out stores with these aims and practices in mind if this does not appeal to you. Jo and I have started a new blog called The Ethical Wardrobe and our Masterlist covers many of the places where you can shop from sustainably, if you're looking for inspiration in the future.