Sustainable fashion is about respect. Respect for the other human beings working in the fashion industry and, for the environment and the resources that where provided by nature. I believe that not seeing first hand the underlying practices of the industry allows us to look away but, as corny as this may sound, we all deserve to be treated as humans and we share this planet, so we better work on that.
There are a lot of different ways to describe clothing that follows some kind of ethics standard. Sustainable fashion, slow fashion, conscious fashion… even though their definition can vary from one user to the other, in my point of view, they can be used as synonyms. A good and simple definition for these terms provided by the Ethical Fashion Forum says that “ethical fashion represents an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximises benefits to people and communities while minimising impact on the environment”. This definition underlines two different aspects that are both very important; workers conditions and the environment. They are what I consider to be important to be aware of, when buying clothes. Ethical fashion and fair fashion focus mainly on the workers conditions, in other words on the human aspect. If a brand only focuses on paying their workers correctly but aren’t careful about the environment, it’s not entirely what I would be looking for but it’s better than fast fashion anyhow.
If you take into account all these factors (workers wages and rights, safe conditions, pollution, resources etc.) you may understand that it takes a lot of effort for a clothing brand to get involved in sustainable fashion. It’s simply easier to take the cheapest and fastest options. From the consumer’s side it’s also much easier because there are not (yet) as many choices in terms of brands and you might have to spend a little more money into a piece of clothing. However, it’s more advantageous and there are other possibilities than buying new clothes. But I’ll talk about that in a future article.
There are a variety of labels, organisations, fashion institutions or groups that are involved in slow fashion. To stay up to date you can consult websites such as rankabrand which is really helpful in getting insights on how sustainable a brand is. There are also specific labels or standards that you can check on clothes or brands, like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) which is the “worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain”
Let me know if you have any other things you would add and if this article has been helpful.
With love, yours sincerely, yours faithfully, yours truly, with kindest regards