Ethical Fashion – What Does This Mean? Let Us Share The Big Three of Fashion Ethics
It always feels good to know a brand is ethical and sustainable, but what does that really mean- especially in an industry that has been historically so secretive? Generally, there are two main areas to look at labor standards and environmental impact. Both can be examined in companies within each link of the fashion supply chain. Farming, milling, transporting, manufacturing, and within each fashion brand.
HOW do we know if ethical and sustainable practices are being met?
This is perhaps the most difficult hurdle to tackle because brands have many reasons why they don’t want to show how and where they make their products. They might not want to share contacts for fear that the competition will use them. Or they might be using sources that do not follow ethical or sustainable practices. Nonetheless, the only way to know is to be able to see it.
The good news is that times are changing! So many new brands are making their practices visible and are benefiting from showing off their ethical ways! Certifications can be made visible on websites, such as Certified B Corporation that make it easier to shop with peace of mind.
We all know that forced labor (aka slave labor) is a major problem overseas, but did you know that human trafficking in labor is a problem right here in the US? In fact, it is one of the fastest-growing criminal enterprises, and the fashion industry is a big part of that network.
Treating people well is important, and the companies you work with should reflect your values. So If you have a brand, choose your sources and manufacturing wisely! Take the time to do your research regarding labor standards.
SUSTAINABLE SOURCES & PRACTICES
We all want to be good to our planet (we hope), and the decisions we make while shopping and in business matter. The fashion industry has had very negative effects on our planet in pollution and waste. Fiber content, fabrications, shipping, packaging, and so many other pieces of the fashion business have an impact. Fortunately, many people do care! We have choices like recycled fabrics and packaging, reusable, compostable, and recyclable products and packaging, eco-friendly dyeing, printing and finishing processes, and so much more.
Being a part of the solution feels great and can also be a great asset for business!
For a FREE comprehensive list of fabric fibers, check out Michigan Fashion Proto’s sustainability page: https://www.fashionproto.com/sustainability.