Guide to Ethical Fashion
Our clothes are an extension of our personality and are a way of self-expression for many, but clothes production in modern times is having a detrimental impact on our planet. One would imagine that something so trivial would not amount to much, but the fashion industry is one of the largest polluters on the planet. The variety of options and ever-changing styles come at a higher cost than what is quoted on the price tags. The ultimate cost for our clothing preferences is paid by the planet, flora and fauna and the marginalized communities. Fast Fashion chains are notorious for employing underprivileged people and forcing them to work in exploitative work conditions, to charge a premium for the clothes they make.
Looking good does not need to come at such a dear price, you can make the choice today to switch over to ethical fashion. Ethical fashion refers to the synergy of sustainable designing, manufacturing and consuming practices. As a consumer, we hold immense power and responsibility to drive change in the market through our demands, and directing it towards ethical fashion is the way to go.
The road to sustainability starts with consistency and maintaining this balance should be a long term commitment and not just a passing fad. Educating yourself should be the next step, understanding related terms will help you better understand your impact as a consumer.
While it is not very easy to discern, the next thing to look out for when shopping is greenwashing. Since many conscious consumers are now becoming more and more aware of their impact, conglomerates are adopting greenwashing as a business strategy to get more sales. It is very important to identify and call out greenwashing as it harms genuine businesses that are working towards a better cause and are promoting ethical fashion. Shopping locally is also important when you want to foster ethical fashion in your daily life. Transportation and shipping things from far off locations generates a lot of pollution so shopping locally is always better as it also promotes your local economy.
If keeping a track of all these tips might be difficult just remember the thumb rule of ethical fashion, the 5Rs, Reduce, Rewear, Recycle, Repair, Resell
Assess your needs and don’t make unnecessary purchases. Make an attempt to invest in products that you can rewear for longer periods of time. Find out about local recycling programs and avoid dumping your old clothes in the trash. Repair clothes that are still good to wear and have minor scuffs and tears. Thrifting is the way to go and with the cyclical resurgence of retro fashion, look into your local thrift stores for buying or selling clothes.
Broaden your horizons and look further than those window displays of fast fashion into a greener future. Looking trendy does not have to come at the cost of harming our planet, ethical fashion should be adopted by everyone. Many ethnic communities already adhere to the central tenets of ethical fashion but it’s time for everyone to adopt the same to pave the way for a more inclusive future that is not only good for people but also the planet.
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