In 2009, ethical fashion has begun to really make waves on both sides of the Atlantic. Long gone are the days when ‘moral’ and ‘fashion’ were two words that meant Dowdy design, clunky accessories and seriously unstylish fabrics.
So how did Ethical Fashion come about?
1. Globalisation is making the world a smaller place.
In the last 10-15 years, globalization has helped bring issues such as worker exploitation and environmental attention of consumers in wealthy countries. Activists like Naomi Klein, who wrote No Logo, helped to unite different groups of concerned citizens to sit up and take notice of how the fashion supply chain were actually working in the global economy.
Thanks to people like Klein, and thousands of students and activists, not to mention the power of the internet nowadays can not run the plant with child labor and expect to get away with it. To put it simply, you will get caught out, and there will be major consequences on business, with the risk that customers desert you for competitors. So it’s not surprising that fashion companies are taking into account the conditions of workers making its products.
2. Caring for the environment.
Elevation pronounced on the issue of climate change has changed Environmentalism concern from fringe into the mainstream. And people are increasingly asking how large footprint their clothing and accessory. Fast fashion is here today and gone tomorrow can actually be very harmful for the environment, as it will literally ‘throwaway fashion’ is destroyed as soon as the buyer no longer wants it.
3. Questions signals over high budget retail.
Budget retail, where prices are just too low to be true, encourages customers to disregard the values that are important to them, and there is a growing awareness among consumers that ridiculously cheap items of clothes come at a price – to the environment or the life of workers in poor countries. People are realizing that these employees are the ones paying the true price of our cheap clothes. And in times of globalization, out of sight does not mean out of mind.
4. Sustainable can be sexy.
Crucial to the growing success of ethical fashion is growing band of designers in the United States and Europe are proving that sassiness, style and ethics can work in harmony together without compromising looks and fashion sense. Buy Ethical Fashion is not about buying because you feel guilty, but because you want to style or color or cut. The moral part is the cherry on the cake!
So far, so good. But how will this movement survive the credit crunch? Recession will actually be good for ethical fashion, as it will force the ethical brand to focus on implementing a more competitive price. Because let’s face it, customers still equate ‘moral’ with ‘expensive’ and although prices have been coming down in recent years, some have still to do more to bring pricing in line with customer expectations. This does not compete with bargain basement throwaway fashion brand, but to create affordable range of clothes and accessories. So Ethical Fashion will not disappear. In fact, the movement is likely to affect the public more and more as times goes by.
So fashion will be beautiful because it is beautiful, and beautiful because it is moral.