In today’s world, we’re all aware that we really need to start doing our bit for the planet and a great way to start is by being a bit more conscious with the fashion decisions that we make, and I’m not talking about wearing mismatched clothing. Instead of shopping on the high street, we should all be trying to look out for more ethical brands and with the rise of accessibility of cheap, fast fashion, ethical brands is what fashion needs now more than ever.
What is ethical fashion?
Ethical fashion simply means that the way in which clothing items are manufactured. For example, most high street fashion stores can be referred to as “fast fashion” and these fast fashion shops often produce clothes as cheaply and as fast as they can to bring them to consumers soon after similar designs have been seen on catwalks, but this isn’t as great as it sounds. By producing garments as cheaply and as fast as possible, this often means that the materials and processes used to make clothing is often not very environmentally friendly. In fact, fast fashion has contributed more than 10% of emissions that have caused global warming. Ethical fashion and ethical brands, however, is more conscious of the carbon footprint they are leaving behind and the working conditions for staff of these ethical brands are for the most part much better.
Why is shopping from ethical brands important?
We’ve all done it, bought a dress or a top only to wear it once and then it will hide in the back of the wardrobe until you either throw it out or give it away. With the rise of accessibility to “fast fashion”, high street brands having up to 62 separate collections of clothing released a year per shop and the lower quality of clothes being produced from these shops, this contributes to the throw-away culture that has been cultivated over the last few years. Buying from ethical brands is important now more than ever to help combat fast fashion stores and bring down the emissions that fast fashion causes.
What makes a brand ethical?
Being an ethical brand isn’t necessarily hard so long as you’re willing to stay true to your morals and brand values. The most important things that make brands ethical are the working conditions for their staff, meaning how well they are treated, how well they are paid, and how safe their working conditions are, the emissions they create, meaning what methods they are using to create garments and where they are importing/exporting to, how long-lasting their clothes realistically are, meaning will they last every day use and washes well or will they only last a few wears before breaking, and what fabrics they use to create their garments, meaning do they use animal skins or lace the items with synthetic plastics that can leak out during washes and end up in the ocean.
What can I do to shop more ethically?
Well, every little helps but as they say, the more the merrier. Researching the brands you usually buy from and looking up how environmentally friendly they are is a great way to see just how ethically you shop. Show off your creative skills and up-cycle your old clothes to make them seem brand new again. Even start shopping at charity and vintage stores can be good fun and many of the clothes donated have never even been worn before so there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. There are some great apps such as Good On You that can help you rate brands and find alternative eco-conscious brands.