The Various Aspects That Render Ethical Clothing the Right Choice
Fashion is an inevitable part of our everyday life. We buy a large number of clothes per year, thus spend a lot of money on creating our look and maintaining a certain style. It is such a powerful tool, as it is a way to say who you are without having to speak. However, the rise of fast fashion and its inhumane corporate practices have prompted the birth of a movement which fights against today’s fashion industry and the unsustainability of its business model. In order words, now we have ethical clothing as an alternative to mass-produced clothing.
There are several terms related to the practices of the new age fashion which have emerged as a reaction against the fast fashion industry. To make things clearer, let’s first go through the basic meanings of said terms. “Fast fashion” refers to the mass-produced clothing pieces one can buy from low-priced retailers with high product turnover while turning a blind eye regarding the environmental impact. “Sustainable fashion”, also known as eco fashion, focuses on the environmental impact of the clothing alone and how different fibres and production methods negatively impact the environment. “Fair Trade fashion” focuses specifically on the working conditions of the labourers. “Ethical fashion”, according to the Ethical Fashion Forum, is defined as the design, sourcing and manufacturing of clothing which maximises the benefits for the communities while minimising the impact on the environment. Ethical fashion is actually a combination of both fair trade and sustainable fashion.
Even though we as Aussies cannot witness a huge direct impact for the time being (whether it is the increase of smog pollution, destruction of the forests, toxic drinking water, or an influx of material waste), there are communities in the world which suffer from the destruction of the environment every second due to the carbon emissions of the production and disposal of the clothing. So, by opting for ethical clothing Australia buyers can give precedence to sustainable materials which don’t harm anyone’s environment. The silver lining in all this is that more and more people raise their voices, willing to find a solution to the problem. Understanding the origin of the clothes, how they are produced and what happens to the excess that is not sold is, in fact, a very important part of the solution. Moreover, understanding that buying cheap clothes from huge brand chain stores hurts everyone but the retailer breaks the cycle of quick consumerism.
Another aspect the ethical clothing Australia buyers help put an end to is the exploitation of women in the fast fashion industry. Most women in this industry are underpaid, and work 14-16 hours per day and work in unsafe conditions that can lead to a dreadful tragedy. Even when the working conditions are relatively safe, these women cannot get their basic benefits like maternity leave. In order for a change to become evident and have a full effect in lots of communities, there has to be a change in the habits of people first. Paying a few extra dollars for well-made clothing eventually will pay off. Starting with small steps is always better than not starting at all. Adding a piece or two to the wardrobe from a source that provides transparency regarding their sourcing, pricing and labour means showing initiative and doing your part.