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Everything You Need To Know About Ethical Clothing
If you have been interested in a sustainable fashion for a while, you must have come across the term “ethical clothing.” While the concept sure sounds intriguing, there is plenty of confusion surrounding it.
What do ethics mean in fashion? How can you tell if a piece of clothing is ethical? How do you judge a brand’s ethics? And most importantly, where do you find ethical clothing?
If you or any of your friends have similar questions, save this guide to clear up any confusion. While there is no set-in-stone definition, below you will find an elaborative definition of “ethical clothing” and all its aspects.
So let’s start!
What Is Ethical Clothing?
Ethical clothing is an ambiguous term. Everyone defines it with a unique perspective. But in essence, it has two primary principles.
Ethical clothing does not harm,
- the planet
- the people living in it.
It is clothing that is made, packaged, sold, and marketed in a way that doesn’t hurt the living or nonliving parts of the earth. Instead, it focuses on benefiting them.
Many people define it as the opposite of fast fashion. Ethical clothing takes care of the rights and welfare of humans, animals, and plants, which are the primary sources of raw materials. On the other hand, fast fashion abuses them due to constant demand and mass production.
What Makes Ethical Clothing “Ethical”?
There are plenty of factors that affect a piece of clothing’s ethics. But here are a few examples:
Ethical Clothing Use Planet-Friendly Resources
All raw materials and energy used in ethical clothing production are organic, eco-friendly, low-impact, and non-toxic. These include materials like Econyl, Tencel, organic cotton, ethical silk, etc., that are clean, recycled, non-hazardous to human health, and restorative to the environment.
The CORAZON Organic Wool Sweater is made from responsibly sourced wool, meaning no animals were harmed or exploited.
Additionally, ethical clothing producers use renewable energy sources for their assembly lines, watch their water consumption, and ensure no waste of resources.
Ethical Clothing Has Low-Impact Supply Chain
During the manufacture of ethical clothing, no greenhouse gases are produced. They are handmade, or their machinery is up-to-date and filtered to ensure no emissions. Also, no toxic dyes or by-products of the production chain are released into the waterways.
Ethical clothing is also not packaged in plastic after it is manufactured. Instead, it comes in paper, fabric, glass, metal, or another organic, reusable, or refillable packaging.
Next, the distribution is low-impact and resource-efficient. Ethical brands ensure their production assemblies are not far from their target markets. This way, they can cut their logistics costs, fuel consumption, and emissions from transport vehicles. For example, the Jasmin T-shirt by Avani Apparel is 100% made in France.
Ethical Brands Fulfill Labour Rights
Did you know? Only 2% of the workers in garment factories are paid a living wage. A living wage is a minimum income necessary to meet basic needs, including food, shelter, healthcare, and clothing.
Brands producing ethical clothing assure fair wages to employees, safe working conditions, paid leaves, and other labour rights. They also stand up against slavery, child labour, and girls forced into quitting education to work. These issues are, unfortunately, widespread in developing countries.
Ethical clothing also provides employment opportunities for ethnically or culturally marginalised groups to empower them.
How To Find Brands That Make Ethical Clothing?
There is one rule of thumb for finding ethical brands. Look for the ones that are entirely transparent about their supply chains. These brands provide clear information about how, where, and from what their ethical clothing is made.
Do you know? All Swiss Impact Store brands can be traced to their source and have authentic certifications. Don’t believe us; check it out yourself!