Why I care about Ethical Fashion?

Who Made My Clothes | ethicalfair.com
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Ignorance is bliss. Even ignorance underpinned by a gnawing suspicion that the bargain you’re about to bag has to have a catch. Well it does, it has one hell of a catch. And that gnawing suspicion is now a terrifying reality.

Back in the 80s, growing up in Ireland, money wasn’t plentiful. The Christmas trip to Primark for new pyjamas and “Christmas clothes” was an event and school uniforms were purchased on layaway. Events like weddings required months of budgeting to afford the requisite hat as well as outfits for the kids. The gnawing suspicion was there. People were vaguely aware of sweatshops but I think there was an underlying assumption that people were inherently good and decent. If kids were being used in factories, surely it wasn’t that many. And if women were being forced to work long hours, wasn’t it better than being in the sex trade. People were blissfully unaware of how bad things really were.

Fast forward to 2015 and it’s a very different story. We have the facts and a simple google search places the ugly truth right in front of us. In fact, we don’t even need to actively seek this truth – after all it’s unlikely anyone could have missed the Rana Plaza story, being covered as it was by media across the globe. We cannot claim ignorance any longer. We cannot avoid the truth about the under-developed being exploited to feed the developed appetite for fast fashion. We can no longer kid ourselves that the supply chain is run by those who are decent and fair.

But what we can do is choose. We can choose not to support these practices. We can choose to make our money our voice and support brands who are doing the right thing, and those who are trying to start. We can choose not to place greater value on our own lives than that of a woman in Bangladesh, a man in China or a child in Cambodia. We can choose to seek our information that helps us to make better, informed choices.

I have made my choice. I believe that ethical fashion is the future of fashion. I care who made my closest. And really, the question isn’t why should I care….the question is how could I not?


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3 Comments

  1. Hello Louise,

    Thank you for highlighting this important issue and articulating what fast fashion is and why you support ethical fashion.

    Most of us are privileged enough to support ethical fashion production, support the garment workers to receive a decent living wage and empower artisans who live in the most disadvantaged/remote areas of the world.

    Our insatiable appetite for clothes has become an addiction that sadly exploits people, endangered animals, the planet and it’s precious resources.

    I feel so passionate about this subject that I have been actively supporting the Six Items Challenge with Labour Behind The Label for the past six consecutive years.

    https://sixitemschallenge2017.everydayhero.com/uk/the-lilfairtrade-shop#

    It would be wonderful if you could think about participating with me next year?

    Best wishes and regards
    Sabeena

    Fairtrade Nomad and Optimist for Change

  2. Hi Louise,

    I think changing how people view sustainable fashion is a huge step enough. As you pointed out, a lot of the times, we choose not to think too deeply into our buying choices or how it may affect the environment because we don’t want to admit the consequences. The reality is that even though we have the resources in front of us which point out this ugly truth, the marketing and advertising ploys employed by fast fashion labels often overpowers our knowledge of sustainable fashion. But I think that even if people make the choice to buy sustainable fashion, the greater and more pressing issue, is actually getting people to maintain this way of thinking.

    OC

    1. Absolutely. The constant barrage of images of perfect women in gorgeous outfits with flawless hair/makeup is hard to ignore. You have to be very confident in yourself not to be swayed even a little. Most of us have our moments of doubt I think!

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