Ethical Fashion: What It Is And Why It Matters
Worth over a trillion-dollars, the textile and garment industry is not only recognised as one of the largest industries in the world, but it’s also notorious for its human rights violations, unfair labour practices and environmental pollution.
Whether it’s forcing cotton farmers to use harmful pesticides, polluting rivers with toxic dyes or exploiting vulnerable women and children, the lack of moral integrity in this industry is alarming.
The Clothes We Wear Have A Story To Tell
Although most of us have heard stories about the abusive conditions, and appalling working environments in the sweat shops, very few of us stop to think about where our clothes come from and who makes them.
But with the South African clothing industry struggling to compete against imports from low-wage countries such as China, the Middle East and Southern Asia, the unfortunate reality is that the majority of our clothes are made by companies that place profit before principles.
In most cases, incredibly cheap bargains are sourced from clothing manufacturers that constantly violate human rights, and pay their hardworking labourers below the minimum wage.
We Unknowingly Support Unethical Fashion
What we don’t realise is that our purchasing decisions have the power to fuel a vicious cycle of exploitation and harm to the environment.
By buying from brands that import fast, cheap clothing, we are inadvertently supporting unethical fashion - as the demand for fast, cheap clothing increases, so does the production!
Ethical fashion, however, is an initiative which aims to break this cycle by making consumers more aware of how their fashion choices impact the lives of others, as well as the environment.
At its very core, ethical fashion embodies a set of values which prompt the consumer to act in a way that discourages harm to people and the planet.
How Can We Encourage Ethical Fashion?
As consumers, we often underestimate our power to make a change. But it’s our actions that influence retail decisions, and there are many actions we can take to encourage ethical fashion.
From purchasing our clothes from ethically aware brands to raising ethical fashion awareness, we can work together to transform the fashion industry. So let’s give fashion a face by daring to ask, ‘Who made my clothes?’
If you’re interested in finding out more about Boody and how we support ethical fashion, take a look at our manufacturing process.