What is Ethical Fashion
Ethical fashion is fashion that takes an active role in trying to do the right thing to protect people and the environment, rather than exploiting them.
Different ethical fashion brands have different definitions and missions but here are a few examples of what ethical fashion can include:
One of the biggest culprits in unsustainable fashion is fast-fashion companies, where profit margins are more important than the actual costs of producing a garment ie. human and environmental costs. Work-force are often forced to work too many hours a day, for very low pay and in poor working conditions. Materials are often unsustainably sourced, and even damaging to the environment, in order to save costs.
By promoting slow-fashion, better practices and options are provided, while raising awareness of people’s purchasing choices and their impact on other people and the environment.
Fair wages, safe working conditions and human rights
A lot of clothing is produced in the developing world, simply because it is cheap.
This creates a lot of issues, because when profit is the main focus for a lot of fast fashion chains, where faster, more and cheaper is the mantra, a lot of people in the industry have to work more hours than they should, for less than they can survive on and often in very poor conditions.
An ethical fashion company will make sure to pay minimum wage and to look after the rights and well-being of their workers and absolutely no child labor or any kind of forced labour will be tolerated.
Support sustainable livelihood
Apart from providing a safe environment and fare wages for its workers, an ethical fashion company will support the workers to create a sustainable livelihood, by making sure to provide necessary support and training to help the community at large.
By providing fair wages and necessary support and training, workers get a chance to better themselves and their situation.
Many ethical fashion companies support the entire communities that they operate in.
Materials that are grown using harmful chemicals can damage the farmer’s health and his environment.
In conventional manufacturing, more than 2000 toxic chemicals are used, many of which are believed to cause serious health issues including cancer.
These chemicals not only causes harm to people but also causes serious harm to the environment, as they pollute the soil and waterways.
By only using natural, organic materials and water-based, non-toxic inks, we preserve the health of humans and the environment.
Energy and water-efficiency
The textile industry retains a record of the lowest efficiency in energy utilization and is one of the major energy consuming industry. It uses a vast amount of water and energy.
By making production more water and energy efficient, we help to preserve natural resources.
As an example:
– It requires 20.000 litres of water to produce enough cotton for just one pair of jeans.
– Electrical energy required per 10 metre of cloth is 5 kwh, equivalent to the energy a cooker uses to cook for a family of 4 for 3 days.
Protect the environment and other people
As an ethical fashion company, one should always thrive to protect the environment and other people while making a financial profit.