Fashion is fabulous in so many ways. It's a way to help you look and feel your best, while also expressing your true self to the world around you. Perhaps this is the reason fashion is a $3 trillion industry.
Yes, you read that right. $3 trillion - that means that the fashion industry is worth more than the GDP of Switzerland and the Netherlands combined.
Considering that the fashion industry has a larger output than literal countries, it should come as no surprise that it has a staggeringly large environmental footprint. 20% of the world's industrial water pollution comes from treating and dyeing textiles, for instance.
The good news is that you don't have to give up on your morals to look good. Ethical fashion ensures that your values are reflected in your wardrobe.
Here's why you should commit to ethical fashion if you haven't already.
The Importance Of Ethical Fashion
Defining ethics is notoriously difficult. It's a question that's been occupying many of humanity's best minds for thousands of year.
It's especially importance that we consider ethics in regards to fashion. As Emma Watson reminds us "As consumers we have so much power to change the world by just being careful in what we buy." Ethical fashion is one step towards living in a fair, just world while still looking fabulous.
Conducting business ethically requires investigating every single link in the supply chain. This is where ethical fashion comes in.
What Is Ethical Fashion?
There are numerous ways that the fashion industry can be harmful to both the planet and those that live here. As a loose definition, ethical fashion is a movement to reduce the potential impact a fashion line can have by investigating every step of the supply chain. Everything from the design to the manufacturing and production and even the distribution is part of this scrutiny.
That doesn't just mean environmental harm, either. Ethical fashion is equally as concerned with the cultural impact of a fashion brand. That could include everything from ensuring fair wages for the workers to promoting healthy beauty standards for their customers.
How To Practice Ethical Fashion
Luckily, ethical fashion has been gaining a lot of momentum in recent years. This means there are more knowledge and resources available for addressing your fashion ethical concerns.
Here are some ways you can ensure that your wardrobe and your shopping habits are in line with your morals.
It's all too easy to get in the habit of buying new clothes you don't really need. Isn't it one of the great style sins to be caught wearing the same dress twice? This raises the risk of buying a new garment that you only intend to wear once or twice and then relegating it to the landfill.
This is one clear example of why fashion ethics matter. Not only is it awful for the environment it also reinforces a subtle form of classism, as hardly anybody can afford to have a brand new outfit for every occasion.
To help counteract this trend, Livia Firth of the company Eco Age created the #30Wears hashtag campaign. This trend encourages fashion lovers to consider whether or not they'll wear a garment 30 times before they buy it.
This line of thinking is another example of the potential benefits of considering ethics in fashion. There's no reason to not look great and keep your conscience clear. Instead of buying garments that you'll only wear once or twice, consider putting new looks and outfits together by creatively using accessories, adding layers, and putting together new combinations.
This way, you can buy fewer clothes which means you can get better quality! Fashionistas in some of the most elegant eras in history often owned less than a handful of outfits, after all.
Do Your Research
Movements like farm-to-table and shopping locally have emphasized the importance of knowing the source of your food. One of the reasons why ethically sourced fashion is important is that it performs the same function for your clothes.
When you're setting out to do your shopping, you should spend a few moments and do some research on the fashion brands you're thinking of buying.
Luckily, there are numerous tools to help you with this research. Apps like Good On You let you look up brands so you can see how ethical they are. There also host articles to point you in the direction of excellent, ethical brands, interesting fashion documentaries, and fashion trends!
We realize that life is busy and the world is big, and getting bigger all the time. It's daunting to think of the amount of data that's out there. You can face a kind of decision paralysis solely due to the potential of being morally incorrect.
Luckily, there are a number of excellent, useful tools for researching ethics in fashion available. This way you don't have to make researching your wardrobe your full-time job.
Ethical fashion is a way to have the best of all worlds. It's challenging to make sure everything you were is ethical and sustainable. It's more than worth it, though. Getting well-made, durable, and stylish clothing is good for the environment, your wallet, and your style!
Looking For Stylish, Sustainable Accessories?
Fashion isn't the only area of our day-to-day lives that ends up in the landfills. Everything from food packaging to how we carry our lunches produces waste that could be avoided.
Since you're updating your wardrobe with ethical fashion, make sure to check out our soon-to-launch line of sustainable knit athleisurewear and loungewear? While you're at it, why not accessorize with one of our sustainable eco-friendly reusable lunch bags? Shop our collection today to see our full line of stylish, sustainable reusable lunch bags!