Ethical Fashion: Why It Matters

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second biggest polluting industry in the world!?

Over-production and over-consumption have been simultaneous occurrences in today’s world of fashion. Impulsive purchases and the frequent change of trends have been increased by more than 60% than just a decade ago. These blatant practices of consumerism have been tremendously affecting not only the environment but also our livelihood in many ways.

Not to change the motion of the industry, but to direct it in a more humane, eco-friendly and ethical way- “ethical fashion” has been emerging in the industry.

So what exactly is ethical fashion?

Well, “ethical fashion” is an umbrella term that encompasses a whole industry of business and production ethics and practices aimed at changing a range of existent societal issues, such as working conditions, environmental pollution, human labour and animal exploitation and so on.

In other words, ethical fashion is fashion that’s based upon ethics and values.

Photo by Zeny Rosalina on Unsplash

The origin of ethical fashion

The core of ethical fashion becoming such a revolutionary movement and an eventual way of living has a deep-rooted history, dating back to the first industrial revolution in the mid-18th century. The industrial revolution took technological advancements to a new dimension, with the invention of the steam machine, for instance.

As one of the largest industries, the movement of sustainable clothing started to boom during the 20th century, when consumerism began to take grasp in society along with increased consumption and production rates. The sustainable and, later on, the ethical fashion movement was mostly about the rejection of traditional fashion concepts.

The ethical fashion movement was only somewhat there, up until the Rana Plaza collapse incident brought up burning questions about the dreadfulness of consumerist society. This is when the clothing industry saw a wave of ethical fashion and lifestyle.

Photo by Edgars Kisuro from Pexels

The purpose of ethical fashion

Ethical fashion focuses on all the problems with how the mainstream fashion industry mostly operates. Simply put, ethical fashion is all about products made through ethical practices like reducing waste production and minimising uneven labour work.

Here are some of the aspects of ethical fashion.

Environmental friendliness

As the second biggest polluting industry in the world, fashion has the potential to cause severe, consequential environmental contamination and damage. According to the UN, more than 80% of wastewater is dumped into rivers by the conventional fashion industry, causing a menace to natural water sources, wildlife and nature in general.

Ethical fashion aims to recycle and properly dispose of water, along with other used raw materials used in production, and generate little to no environmental hazards.

Cut down to consumerism

Another primary objective of ethical fashion is to decrease the practices of consumerism and to reduce carbon footprints by producing organic, sustainable and renewable clothes at more affordable costs.

Fair wages

The foundation of ethical fashion is the idea of establishing fair wages for those workers who keep the fashion industry running uninterrupted. The purpose is more significant than the growth of profit and sale of fashion brands. The aim is toward the growth of the people behind the establishment of a brand.

Ethical fashion ensures worker's safety
Photo by Kris Atomic on Unsplash

Better working conditions

Ethical fashion supports a strong ethical and fair trade movement even in work settings, where working relationships are built on mutual respect, appreciation, trust and neutrality. Workers are safe from prejudice and discrimination, and are offered an overall healthy and safe working environment.

Animal welfare restoration

Ethical fashion plays a major role in restoring animal rights. Ethical fashion comes with 100% animal cruelty-free clothing along with eco-friendly, sustainable vegan alternatives.

Ethical fashion as an integral part of your lifestyle

Nowadays, customers are more willing to purchase products that are eco-friendly and sustainable. Products and brands labelled as “organic”, “eco-friendly”, “100% animal cruelty-free” and “sustainable” leave good impressions of a brand in ethically-aware customers’ minds. So it’s hard not to associate yourself with something that promotes a healthy-yet-trendy, eco-friendly and ethical lifestyle.

Here are some ways you can integrate yourself with ethical fashion.

Minimalism

Ethical fashion upholds the concept of minimalism, mostly because of ideological correlation. “Buy less and buy better” means you stay minimal and stay ethical with your clothing purchase.

In this shamble of consumerism, you can opt for a way of living that is healthy, ethical and affordable with no post-shopping guilt!

Social activism

You can be a direct part of the social activism that preaches environmental sustainability, human rights restoration, animal welfare and more by opting for ethical fashion.

Supporting local fashion brands

According to Ethical Clothing Australia (ECA), the popularity of ethical fashion brands in Australia is expanding more and more despite its small industry.

That’s why many local brands are coming up with ethical business motto and fashionable clothing. By switching to ethical fashion brands for plus size clothing in Australia like Kita Ku, you can help local clothing and boutique shops, and help the industry grow.


Featured image by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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