What is ethical fashion???
What is ethical fashion you ask? Well, like anything that is ethical, it is fashion that is morally right and acceptable, it is pretty self explanatory really but I will explain in a little more detail what exactly makes fashion ethical and the issues behind it.
Ethical fashion; or as many associate it as, eco fashion, is the process of covering a range of issues. The term is used to describe issues that arise in the four sectors of fashion; design, production, retail and purchasing.
The purpose of ethical fashion is to maximise benefits to people, communities and business and to minimise the impact on the environment.
What issues could possibly occur within this industry?
The most popular issues that could arise are, the working conditions, fair trade, exploitation, animal welfare and the environment. The working conditions occur in the cheapest of fashion clothing stores, this means that in most cases, that super cheap item of clothing you bought from a low priced store is most likely made in a factory with extremely poor working conditions and unhealthy environments with the workers being on very low salaries; not that you would be aware of this when buying the product, and this is what ethical fashion is all about, working to prevent these aspects and also make people aware of the unknown.
Also, within the textile side of fashion also faces some issues in the sense that most textiles are usually treated with chemicals. This could be to either dye, wash or soften them but little do you and I know that the chemicals used to do this can sometimes to dangerous to the skin as the chemicals could be transferred to those wearing the clothes. The same goes for the environment as some of the chemicals used are toxic.
What has been put in place to prevent the problems occurring in businesses and the industry on the whole?
There is a forum and criteria in which businesses within the fashion industry follow that consist of ten set points that if all are followed, will allow a business to full engage in ethics and sustainability. For example, the fashion industry has began both using and developing eco-friendly fabrics and various components with one of the most popular being fair trade and organic cotton. Organic cotton is grown without the use of chemicals which means that there is nothing possibly toxic within the use of it which makes a huge different to the usual cotton which is used massively in businesses and industry. Cotton is one of the most chemical-laden crops in the world so the fact that organic cotton is now being introduced is a massive positive for the fashion industry and its eco statics.
Are there any eco-friendly high street Fashion brands that you may not have known were actually ethical?
For all of you online shopaholics out there, it may be interesting to know that ASOS have an eco friendly section of their website known as the ‘green room’ which hosts a wide range of clothing brands such as up cycled vintage. This is a way of recycling clothes which is of course great for the environment on the whole and everyone loves a good vintage garment, right??? It is a wardrobe must have!
The high street store brand Fat Face is known for its eco friendly approach to clothing as it abides by a code of conduct that is to be followed by all suppliers and factories to ensure that all of their workers are treated fairly.