What is Ethical Fashion?
When ethics are discussed within the context of fashion, it most often refers to the treatment of people in the stages of raw material, processing and manufacture—activities typically carried out in the developing world.
– Study 34
Hence, ethical fashion is a term used to describe the concerns related to the production of garments. It covers array of issues like working conditions, human rights, fair wages, fair trade, labor and the environment. It also considers the fair treatment of animals, environment and of course ensure a cruelty-free fashion.
How did it Start?
According to the analysis by common objective, the search for “ethical fashion” on Google has increased by 25% in the past six years. It manifestly seems to be an increasingly popular phrase to allure shoppers.
Ethical Fashion is a phrase which is used in a recent phase, though it is found that this topic was first published in 2002 in the newspaper- (Ethics and Innovation: Is An Ethical Fashion Industry An Oxymoron?” and another in 2006 (Joergens) “Ethical fashion: myth or future trend?”
Although it took pace in 2013 after the collapse of Rana Plaza which urged the world to speak and take actions against the unethical and unjust practices of production.
Issues around Ethical Fashion
After the Rana Plaza mishap, the conscious people around the world broke their silence against the unethical production practices of the fashion industry. Following are some of the issues around it:
- Almost all fashion brands from the fast fashion giants to the labels often dislodge their production to underdeveloped countries of the world where the child workers are exploited with coerced overtime, poor pay, and bad food.
- Animal abuse in the fashion industry has grown fairly common. Animal fur is shaved off from the farmed animals and they are often mangled after that. While some animals like Snakes, crocodiles are reared for their skin. It is then used as raw material for manufacturing products like handbags, shoes etc.
- Most textiles are dyed with chemicals to soften them and to get a perfect texture. All these toxic chemicals are gushed off into water bodies resulting in disruption of the ecosystem.
- Farmers suffer from life-threatening incidents while cultivating cotton, as they are exposed to pesticides, lead-based dyes and chemicals. These chemicals in return harm the environment and also the worker’s health.
Why is it important?
We can say that ethical fashion is the pressing priority because it is predicted that by 2030 the fashion Industries water consumption will rise by 50% and its carbon footprints will increase to 2791 tones.
The garments produced by the ethical fashion brands are unique and are more sustainable which lessens the strain of recycling.
It supports workers and local community people by ensuring not only fair pay but also the safety of the workers.
They also support women empowerment by offering them jobs with various facilities like training, maternity leave, healthcare and by giving them equal opportunity.
It’s also more desirable for us because the brands which follow ethical fashion ensures that the raw material, they use is free of toxic chemicals which is better for the safety and health of their customers.
With all these reasons we can definitely say that ethical fashion is the need of today!
How to ensure Ethical Fashion?
We can ensure Ethical Fashion by stop following fast fashion, it will eventually affect the speedy production of clothes. Hence, it will help to reduce the mistreatment towards the workers and environment.
Also, one can refuse to buy new clothes unless and until it is essential. Revamping existing clothes in the wardrobe and testing some creativity by styling it differently for different occasions.
And the best one can do is to ensure that the brand where you buy from follows ethical practices and is not a mass production brand.
Written by: Ankita Waykar