In case you missed the memo: Ethical shopping is hard. Production chains are so complicated that major companies often can’t guarantee what conditions their products were made in, and even alternatives like the Salvation Army aren’t always ideal because of their anti-LGBTQ track records. That doesn’t mean we should give up hope. A Nielsen report shows an increase in the number of people willing to pay more for products from companies they consider to be socially responsible, with a consumer trend report for 2017 published by NPD forecasting that, “given the highly charged political atmosphere [consumers will be] giving their business to brands and retailers that share their values and shunning those who do not.” These are encouraging steps that show we want to do better, and with reports that brands are embracing transparency, it seems that retailers are starting to listen. One popular solution for shoppers hoping to make a difference is breaking away from fast fashion and buying from smaller brands that stock artisanal goods, often from abroad. “Many studies have reported that consumers like the uniqueness [of artisanal products],” says Anupama Pasricha, the executive director of Educators for Socially Responsible Apparel Practices, who explains that “people feel a sense of good” when they buy things made by artisans. But if something is artisanal, does that automatically make it ethical? Like any industry, there are brands that excel, brands that could do better, and no 100 percent foolproof formula for getting it right. Read more at Racked.