The other day I mentioned that Kohl’s received a D- on Ellis Jones’ rating scale in the wonderful book, The Better Shopping Guide. Bummer. I love to shop at Kohl’s. I think I’m going to have to wean myself away from Kohls. I would bet that the reason they received such a poor grade, is that their clothes are very inexpensive. Someone had to make the clothes VERY cheaply for Kohls to be able to sell them so cheap. My guess is that the people who make the clothes aren’t paid very well. So here’s the rub, then. Do I want to support a company that sells clothes made by people getting a pittance, just so I can purchase cheap clothes? I don’t think that is right.
So, what’s the alternative, you ask? Well, there are other companies that got a much better rating than Kohl’s. The top ranked company seems to be American Apparel clothes. The Guide says that they are %100 organic, sweatshop free. That’s good news! I’m not sure where these clothes can be purchased, but I’m going to look into it.
What if you want to go just to one store to buy your clothes, without look for a certain brand? Well, although they didn’t receive a super rating (C range) these stores are better alternatives to Kohl’s: Target, GAP, JC Penney, Macy’s, Lord and Taylor, and a store I’ve not heard of called Foley’s. All of these places have better practices than Kohl’s. So, there are a few alternatives.
Something that might be even better than buying new clothes from the store, though, would be purchasing them second-hand from thrift stores or garage sales. For one thing, the clothes are cheaper, but it is not because people in sweatshops made them (although I’m sure that some of the brands available might be). It is because the clothes have been used once already by someone else. So, give it a try! I am going to be buying a few new pairs of jeans today, and before I hit Target (not Kohl’s) I’m going to check out a local thrift store which supports the organization WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger) Wish me luck!