The demands of the fast fashion industry have created some detrimental consequences between environmental pollution and inhumane working conditions. Studies have brought the issue to the world’s attention, the sparkling demand from executives and industry leaders to change the narrative. Due to this in recent years more ethical and sustainable fashion brands have begun emerging on the market.
It is quite common to see brands adopting ethical, ‘conscious’ lines and departments but the level at which these companies are going green varies. Some of the companies are making an impact by adjusting manufacturing practices where as some have completely changed the types of fabrics and materials they use in their clothing to be more eco-friendly.
In the fashion industry, eco-conscious and sustainability have become buzz words as the designers and shoppers both make an effort to go green. Green is the latest fashion statement to sweep the industry. The consumer today demands stylish, trend-conscious fashion and are concerned with the environment and sustainability. The shopper while making any purchasing decisions considers not only style and price but the quality of the item also. To reduce the carbon footprint they also look for natural fibers and environmentally conscious production and shipping practices.
Do you think that fashion can really be ethical? If we see the entire fashion industry is based on all about vanity and consumerism. The ready-to-wear fast fashion industry is entirely based on a simple principle and that is ‘people buy – fashion changes – people throw the previous and buy the ‘new’. It is based on wasting and the human have a tendency of having ‘more’. The basis itself is a kind of ‘unethical’ and we are talking about ‘ethical’. ‘Going green’ is a new big thing and is something that the entire fashion industry is fixing for.
On the one hand, there is a lot of criticism and gibing at the term ‘ethical fashion’. The supporters of Ethical Fashion have lot of love, belief and passion for new clothes. The Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF) defines ‘Ethical Fashion’ as “an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing the impact on the environment.”
It includes things like –
Critics should not have a problem if the above mentioned is the basis of the well known ‘Ethical’ fashion brand and green movement needs one to cover it. Even if the green movement is all about just following a fad and the fashion brands are going ethical then there is nothing wrong. By just ‘trying’ to portray a ‘good’ face then the fashion industry is ending up in doing something good.
The word ‘Ethical’ means something which is ‘morally right’ or ‘Morally Acceptable’ and is itself quite subjective. Ethical should not be just about eco-friendly or fair wages or sustainability but ideally should be about all or any of these. Consideration should be on something which is morally correct to the particular brand or the designer.
The designers and entrepreneurs of today are young and energetic and try to make a difference in the world of fashion. They have their own unique prospective and passion on ‘ethical fashion’ and ‘organic’.
Some of them try to revive the Indian handlooms, some try to popularize African tribal arts in India and some try to provide old women with alternate means of livelihood. Some even try to create eco-friendly paint and colours using locally grown plants. They try to create something which turns out to be really wonderful. This is something which they believed to be morally right. This is what we can say ethical fashion is all about.
Green fashion is on the rise now and many people are unaware of the fact that the birth of green and sustainable fashion took place decades ago. Fast fashion focuses on the production of trendy items that have a short lifespan which results in millions of clothes to end up on the landfills.
With the changing face of fashion, we have green and sustainable fashion gaining more and more momentum and we have great brands like H&M, Minna, ASOS, Monsoon, Stella McCartney and many others. Eco-friendly designers and manufacturers are increasing at great speed and they are a proof that by creating sustainable fashion is not going to take away anything from the beauty of garments. The collections are not free of fashion statements and are taking turn towards timeless pieces which can be worn for years. Focus is laid on quality, appearance and durability. Green fashion movement is this becoming one of the most sophisticated and highly influential markets in the world. It is spreading its value-based philosophies worldwide with a hope of making the world a better place through fashion.