Ethical fashion is the term that you have probably heard a lot of times these days. It is very important to understand how unethical the industry of fashion can be. If you need more information about unethical practices of the fashion industry watch The True Cost, a documentary by Andrew Morgan on Netflix, takes a look at fast fashion’s unadvertised sins, from pollution, poor employees’ exploitation, to the unregulated production that caused a factory collapse killing more than 1,000 people in Bangledesh in 2013, to the toxic waste caused by factories producing disposable garments, to the attempts at unionization and increased pay that are prevented by horrible acts of violence. Oh ya, it’s a disturbing eye opener.
Ethical fashion is the form of fashion which tries to circumvent some and even all of those problems. It is something that covers eco-friendly fashion, fair trade fashion, sustainable fashion and vegan fashion. It can include brands that donate or an environmental gesture every time that some purchases any of their products.
Ethical Fashion and Fair Trade
It might be a bit tricky to say the exact definition of fair trade fashion as there are many other definitions. Essentially, fair trade is implying that whoever made the clothing was provided a reasonable price for their work, and was properly treated. It means that the item was not made inside the sweatshop and the worker was not paid 20 cents for the item that is sold for $60.
Many consumers these days do not have an idea about the pollution and the waste that is triggered by the industry. The fashion industry is the second or the third dirtiest industries in the whole world. The production of fabric needs more fertilizers and pesticides that can result to soil and water pollution. Certain production methods demand increased water supply and electricity. As much as 20,000 liters of water could be used in the production of just one pair of jeans.
Aside from the environmental issues associated with fashion production, there’s the problem concerning waste. The rise of affordable fast fashion has motivated the consumers to purchase cheap garments then discard them instantly, and it is a practice that is obviously neither eco-friendly nor sustainable. There are different ethical fashion brands that attempt to alter this pattern.
Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of vegans who are not happy regarding the concept of wearing suede or natural leather. In the past few years, there are ethical brands that have replaced leather with synthetic alternatives. The most outstanding brands make realistic-looking and beautiful vegan leather. Vegan fashion is likewise more eco-friendly.
Ethical Fashion and Sustainability
Ethical fashion is about sustainability. Our fashion choices must not trigger irreversible damage to earth. Ethical fashion uses distribution and production methods, that minimize the negative effects, on either the people involved or the planet. The fashion industry, while it’s still standing, is just not sustainable. The levels of destruction and production can’t pursue indefinitely without severe repercussion.
What can I do?
The most environment-friendly choice is not to purchase clothes at all, but there’s no another way to clothe yourself without causing damage to Mother Earth. Look for second hand clothes. Donate your clothing to someone you know will wear them. Have a clothing swap party with your friends. Buy quality, select, well-made clothing that you can wear for as long as possible. This will eliminate the need for further production and it can also cut down the number of thrown away clothing items.