We are living in a time where the ethical fashion movement is growing, and customers are choosing to shop from brands they can feel good about supporting. Because of this sustainable revolution, brands have more to take into consideration when they are creating and designing - as customers are demanding a shift from fast-fashion to ethical fashion that focuses on the environment and social responsibility. Clothing is something that everyone needs and uses, which makes the movement towards ethical fashion a great way to do a part in making a big change. It’s not only important to make sure your production practices are not causing harm, but also doing good for people, animals, and the planet is the key to ethical fashion.
There are a number of contributing factors that will give the consumer the peace of mind that they are shopping consciously and can feel good about their ethical responsibility. So, what decisions are most important for you to make when you are designing and manufacturing your brand?
We’ve outlined a few pointers so you can take the plunge into the world of conscious commerce:
1. Ensuring Ethical Labor Practices:
Imagine how great it would feel to create your brand knowing the individuals producing your garments are genuinely happy and comfortable while working. In order to ensure ethical labor practices throughout production, it is important to make sure the factory employees are treated fairly, receiving fair wages, and are provided with safe, healthy working conditions. Your production practices have the opportunity to make a positive difference for the ones involved in the making of clothing. Remain transparent with your customers, and be proud of the story behind your brand.
2. Choosing Your Manufacturing Location:
Consumers love the idea of knowing where their products are coming from and supporting local fashion made in the USA. Choosing to work with domestic manufacturers instead of producing overseas has one obvious environmental advantage: the reduced carbon emissions associated with transporting the goods. The shorter the distance the items need to travel from production to store shelves, the better for the environment. When considering the entire manufacturing process, it is likely that products made in the USA are more eco-friendly than products manufactured and imported from overseas.
3. Choosing Eco-Friendly Materials:
With the fashion industry being known as one of the most polluting industries in the world, ethical fashion brands are placing more importance on using fabrics and dyes made from eco-friendly materials as well as using eco-friendly printing methods. The impact these materials can have on the environment, the individuals being exposed during production, and the effects on the customer have made this a very important area of focus when producing a garment. Organic, non-GMO, and pesticide free fabrics or dyes are safer for us and our environment. We are becoming more aware of how harmful certain chemicals are. Therefore, avoiding materials or fabrics that contain toxins and other harmful chemicals is a way to do our part when it comes to sustainably producing clothing in such a highly polluting industry.
4. Creating Quality Product Reduces Waste:
When a brand is producing garments sustainably, they are using quality materials that are made to last. When garments are made to last, consumers are reducing their waste due to the fact they are minimizing the amount of clothing they will need to buy in the future. Choose craftsmanship over mass-production.
5. Footprint – What effects are you leaving on the environment?
It is important to choose manufacturers that are committed to minimizing their impact on the environment. Using sustainable practices while developing your brand can reduce water waste, energy usage, and the use of harmful chemicals throughout the production process. There are even practices that allow clothing to be made using natural energy which avoids polluting the earth and allows us to reduce our impact on the environment.
When it comes to making clothes while making the world a better place, what are some ways can we be better?