Ethics, Morals, standards, and our beliefs are what make us truly unique and individual. The World is far from what could be called a better place. However, despite this, whatever little good that people in this World still hold is due to their ethics. It is ethics that make us consciously differentiate between what’s right and what’s wrong. It is these very ethical morals that make us stop the vicious cruel cycle taking place across the spectrum of Earth everywhere. Well, the detrimental havoc that our dearest fashion industry is creating on us cannot be neglected. Amongst the most polluting industries for a reason, the negative impacts of fast fashion on humans, the environment, and society are far more heart-wrenching than we acknowledge. It’s time that we consciously make a choice of shunning what’s ethically bad and adopt what can be termed as ethical fashion.
What is Ethical Fashion?
It’s not an easy definition simply because the aspects of ethics vary from person to person. However, the fundamental base for what ethical fashion stands for is it aims to reduce the negative impact on people, animals, and the planet. It primarily focuses on improving and ethically being kind to the people and the planet throughout the process of a textile cycle. Right from the procurement of raw materials from farmers and cattle rearers to working conditions of individuals manufacturing the garments to supply chain footprints and the sustenance of those pieces in the wardrobe of individuals, ethical fashion is a wide encapsulating concept.
But why should I think of ethics? After all, I am just being fashionable.
Well, the individual demands for garments have increased by many folds over the past few years. Owing to increased income that facilitated increased demand for garments the growth for fast fashion propelled.
So what’s wrong with fast fashion?
EVERYTHING!! Apart from the fact that it has merely increased the size of your wardrobes into the bedroom, nothing is ethically, morally, or sustainably right with fast fashion. Fast fashion comes at the cost of exploiting the farmers, laborers, and even you- a customer.
You may ask how?
Well, are you aware of the chemical-laden dyes used to get those perfectly cinematic colors on your garments? Those indeed make your clothes the cheapest but it is you and the environment that pays the costliest for it. The chemicals used to dye your garments are so toxic that they won’t only cause skin allergies but can also lead to diseases as serious as skin cancer. The environment on the other hand pays for those micro plastics with their depleting marine life. All this at the cost of what- New fancy garments in your wardrobe every month?
Okay, now let’s consider people involved and reliant on the fashion industry. 1 in every 6 people is directly affected by Textiles for their livelihood. However, more than 60% of the people involved in these cycles are living under conditions that are painfully downgrading. Farmers are exploited with stooping low rates for their crops. Cattle rearers are paid terribly so that the cheapest fashion you buy could be produced cheaply. Workers manufacturing your favorite branded clothes aren’t even paid minimum wages not to mention the horrendous working conditions they are exposed to. If the severity of people involved in this entire cycle raises any doubt within you, do a bit of research. We are sure the Internet is a wonderful place to be for information if used resourcefully. In retrospect to your question, fast fashion is the cost of deprived human conditions. Ethical fashion is much more about where my cloth comes from and how is it manufactured? Are people or the environment being harmed to create a piece of garment I am about to put on myself?
What makes ethical fashion different from sustainable fashion?
To begin with, the very similarity between both the concepts is its ultimate goal- to reduce the negative impacts with an enhanced level of sustainability. While Ethical fashion focuses on moral aspects of the fashion industry, sustainable fashion aims to increase the life span of garments sitting in your wardrobe. While both aren’t directly related, it addresses the core concerns that are safety and wellbeing of the people and the environment. Summing up, Ethical Fashion is a must because our environment and the people deserve better. It is important so that we can consciously make a shift in our lifestyle. It’s time that we remember what we truly like to dress like instead of being swayed by fashion that changes every day