Four ethical fashion rules to live byMay 14, 2018
Ethical fashion is more than just a buzzword these days – it’s a new way of life that’s taking hold all across the industry. On April 24th, global Fashion Revolution events marked the five-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, in which 1,134 factory workers were killed in Bangladesh due to horrendous working conditions. Things have improved a bit since then, but the fashion industry is still rife with problems that need rectifying, from the low pay and poor treatment of workers to the toxic chemicals used to produce so many of our clothes.
While it’s all well and good staying up to date with the latest ethical fashion news, sometimes it feels like we’re not doing enough in practice to fix what’s gone wrong. If you want to make a difference, however small, here are four things to keep in mind:
1. Shop Smart
Some brands do more than others to source their materials sustainably and create a fair deal for the people making their clothes. If you do a bit of research, you should be able to find out where and how a label’s clothes are made, and what labour practices they enforce. One of my favourite emerging brands at the moment is the phenomenally talented Bozena Jankowska.
The quality is superb and the designs are to die for. On top of everything Bozena donates part of your purchase to a charity that benefits the environment. Talk about win, win, win! (and check out that suit!)
2. Shop mindfully
Do you really need that new jacket? Or is it just going to give you a few hours’ satisfaction before the novelty wears off? Take a minute to think about your relationship to the stuff you buy, and why you buy it. All too often we shop just for the sake of shopping, defending our actions in the name of “retail therapy.” How about turning to other forms of therapy instead, like cooking, exercising or spending quality time with a loved one?
3. Choose second-hand
So many new clothes are worn just a few times before being discarded, creating tonnes of waste. The best way to avoid this problem? By giving old clothes a second chance. You’d be surprised how many treasures you can find in vintage shops and second-hand stores. And if they’re ill-fitting or need some repairs, you can always bring them to a skilled seamstress (like our team at Alexia Alterations) who can breathe new life into them.
4. Fix it, don’t nix it
Part of the problem with a lot of modern clothes is that they’re designed to be disposable. Cheap garments are a dime a dozen, and if they break, you can easily replace them without making a dent on your wallet. But poorly made garments, combined with quickly changing trends and our short attention spans, are a recipe for disaster.
Instead of treating clothes like they’re disposable, we should spend our money on a few investment pieces that are durable and versatile, creating our own little capsule collections. When they succumb to wear and tear, take them to a seamstress for a little TLC rather than getting rid of them. It will be worth it for you and for the planet.
No one’s perfect, and while we can’t fix the fundamental flaws of fast fashion overnight, we can take small steps to become more ethical shoppers. So don’t rush into any purchases, and give your existing clothes a lot more love. Slow fashion is the new black, and it’s here to stay.