5 Reasons to Buy Ethical Fashion
Firstly, here is a little insight to the term Ethical Fashion...
Ethical fashion is fashion consumerism with a conscience. To better describe it, it addresses a wide range of issues that are created in the regular fashion world such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, environment and animal welfare.
1) Buy less, Buy Smarter
The average woman owns more clothing than women have ever in history before, yet typically still wears only around 20% of what’s in her closet. We are buying more than our closets can fit and our wallets can support. This is where buying less and buying smarter come in. The only way to make a change in our over-consumption of fashion is to not only buy less, but also buy smarter. But we also need to be educated on how to buy smarter.Rather than buy ill-fitting, poorly-made garments that are on trend for all of two weeks, we may look at clothing as an investment that will match our personal styles and unique body types. Sometimes this will mean paying a little more upfront for a higher quality garment, yet the cost-per-wear is generally lower in the long-run for those much-loved pieces that don’t unravel and pill after just a few washes.
2) Working Environment
When you purchase from a non-ethical company, you are supporting un-hygienic,un-safe working environments.
In the western world, we take things for granted – things such as a clean, safe working environment. And we assume this is the world standard.
The most famous non-ethical occurrence in recent years was the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh. http://www.globallabourrights.org/campaigns/factory-collapse-in-bangladesh
In most traditional production and fabrication factories, as well as distribution warehouses – the staff are subjected to working days of around 20hours, sleeping on cold dirty floors in-between their shifts in fear of being late back and losing their jobs. Buildings need maintenance, as the focus is on price point for the mass production – no matter what, corners are cut to “save” money. This results in the greatest cost of all, human life. The collapse of Rana Plaza meant the loss of 1,137 people and another 200 unaccounted for. Things like this, all for the sake of fast fashion
There’s no child slave labor supported when you purchase ethically.
Not only are women subjected to these incredibly poor conditions, but also children as young as 6 years old are forced to work for their families instead of learning their ABC’s – many of them won’t even know what a school is let alone learn to read anything more than garment construction symbols. When buying, ask yourself, did a child make this top after not eating all day?
The purchase of ethical fashion also ensures the security of fair wages. Fair wages mean so much more to poorer countries. They don’t know the luxuries of government support like Medicare for example – some don’t even have running water or electricity in their homes. Fair wages mean they can put food in front of their whole family, keep warm in winter and send their children to school. A worker in the Rana Plaza factory earns around $0.22c an hour – while senior sewers earn $0.24c an hour while the “young helpers” more commonly known as children, take home 0.12c an hour.
Purchasing ethically, there is much more offered than just a conscience. Because staffs are happy and healthy – they work more efficiently bring you better quality garments. Companies look to give you that little bit extra when you purchase. The finer materials, the better seams and added details that mass production just doesn’t offer. There is a little bit of love inserted into each garment by its creator.
The collapse of Rana Plaza is just one ofthe thousands of examples why ethical fashion is so important.
There is so much more to ethical fashion than what meets the eye – if you would like to do more research on it, please head to www.ethicalfashionforum.com - and remember, every garment you purchase ethically, is one less you purchase un-ethically. Together, we can change the “rules” of mass production and steer the un-ethical companies towards change - one garment at a time.
Designing luxury swimwear for women of many shapes, and creating a product that really makes them feel beautiful, confident and comfortable in their own skin is what Styelle is all about. Where our material comes from and how our bikinis are made is also equally important to us. Our bikinis are all ethically made to support fair trade, sustainable production, environment and animal welfare.
By Charys Caldarella