There has been a growing movement towards ethical fashion since the horrific factory fire involving a prominent fast fashion manufacturer who became a household name. The media have been calling attention to the appalling working conditions in clothing factories all across the globe. These conditions are particularly prevalent in the cheapest "designer" lines.
It certainly pulls your heart strings knowing these conditions exist. I feel guilty now for every time I succumbed to buying cheap and I know the only way to stop this is for all of us to change our ways.
The thing about sustainable fashion is it implies that "less is more" and most of us fashionistas want a closet bursting with clothes. When you think about it it's ridiculous because we still think we have nothing to wear. Rather than filling our closets with loads of cheap mass market items, we really should save more money and buy handcrafted, organic, or local. You can also purchase sustainable fashion online. I have done a little research on it and here is what I have found.
There are a plethora of websites worth browsing when you research "sustainable fashion". One particularly good one I found was "Eco Fashion World". They shop the world for you and list the names and countries where you can find designer brands that are eco-friendly and ethically sourced. A few good ones are 4 All Humanity, Fair Indigo and Themis and Thread. Stella McCartney is committed to providing sustainable designer clothes that "are not going to get burnt, that are not going to damage the environment", and "are meant to last". Her business model embraces sustainability from production to the final product and she uses organic cotton as often as possible in her collections.
Another good website I found was "Ecouterre". They post a wealth of information on eco- friendly fashion designers like British designer and activist, Katharine Hamnett, who is educating the world about the thousands of cotton farmers who die every day from pesticide poisoning and what she terms, "suicide debt". She is committed to selling "as much organic cotton as possible because this helps the farmers".
There are several terms you can use to research ethical fashion in your country and locale: "ethical fashion"; "eco-friendly fashion"; "organic fashion"; and "sustainable fashion" are just a few. Some are concerned with the ethical treatment of workers, while others are more focused on how fabric is created in terms of whether any chemicals were used in the manufacturing process and anything that affects the environment. Others still promote the use of organic cotton and plants such as hemp.
If you go to your local health store you will find free booklets such as "Alive". Pick one up and you will see advertisements for eco-friendly fashion boutiques right in your own city.
It really doesn't take much more time and effort to search for humanely-made fashion. And really, wouldn't you rather wear softer, more durable fashion made from organic cotton?
Absolutely! I'm going shopping now!