We constantly hear the words ethical fashion, but if you are like me, sometimes it can be confusing in what that exactly means! A simple definition is that ethical fashion involves clothing and cosmetics that are manufactured in a way that causes minimal harm to others and the environment. A growing number of people are investing in ethical brands in order to preserve our ecosystem and promote better work environments. Gratefully, nowadays there are more choices when it comes to buying ethical fashion, while in previous years it was limited to certain styles. Today, let’s discuss the four main types of ethical fashion.
Many of us have heard the stories of clothing factory workers abroad being confined to slave labor conditions. A fair trade label ensures that all workers involved in the manufacture and import of that product were fairly paid. Some of the biggest fair trade brands include Reformation and Patagonia, with aim to offer transparency in all aspects of their production. There are also many handcrafted brands, such as Krochet Kids, that give back to the artisans in Uganda and Peru by also providing education and paid mentoring programs.
Certain products such as make-up, hair care, and perfumes are tested on animals first, while other products may be made from real fur or leather. There’s been a huge uprising against animal cruelty in recent years and there are now many products on the market that have no animal involvement whether it be testing or using by-products. This includes cruelty-free perfume and cruelty-free clothing. Some people only purchasing vegan clothing and cosmetics, which is much harder to find considering this could involve cutting out animal products as wide ranging as beeswax and wool (these products may not involve the slaughter of animals, but are still animal by-products which some people may be uncomfortable with). Make sure to always read the label as clothing advertised as ‘animal cruelty-free’ necessarily may not be free of animal by-products.
Eco fashion involves minimal harm to the environment during production. This could involve using sustainable sourced materials, using fewer fossil fuels during manufacture, and avoiding plastic and dyes that don’t degrade. Eco fashion is starting to become mainstream with even large companies such as H&M introducing entire eco-friendly lines of clothing. Not all of this clothing is expensive either with many brands offering competitive prices in league with normal clothing. Picking out a green wardrobe has never been easier.
There are some brands that aim to give some of their proceeds to charitable causes. Buying into such brands is a great way to donate to a cause while receiving a beautiful garment for yourself. Charitable brands may charge a little extra than normal brands simply for the fact that some of this money is being donated. There are also plenty of charity shops where you can buy cheap used clothes with all the proceeds going to charity.
Hope this article helps, and gives you more options when purchasing clothes! Let me know in the comments some of your favorite ethical friendly brands!