Pondering on what our first subject should be it was only natural for us to zone in on the importance of ethical fashion. Speaking with individuals unfamiliar with ethical, eco, green, sustainable and fair-trade fashion the following questions came up in conversation:
- What does Ethical Fashion mean?
- Why Ethical Fashion?
- What made me decide Ethical Fashion?
- How can people look for clothing or products that are considered ethical?
Lets start with what does Ethical Fashion mean, Question #1?
Now people’s morals differ from one another so in reality “ethical” can have different meanings to different people. For me as a designer and entrepreneur Ethical Fashion means creating a brand, designing, sourcing and partnering with individuals and companies that genuinely care about the well-being of consumers, employees, animals, giving back and the current and future impact on our environment. An ethical brand though can decide to focus on one, a few or all of these issues. For example, a company can use organic cotton yet may manufacturer abroad in factories that are environmentally unsafe. This example should not stop you from buying products made from organic material (because you should) but it gives you an explanation on how companies may use a sustainable angle in their brand. One is not greater than the other because it all goes back to what is important to the brand. On the other hand, brands using organic material in their products also do work with fair-trade manufacturers. This depends on what the founder is passionate for and what the brand represents. So to bring it all together, an ethical fashion brand strives to make positive changes, changes that make a difference in a life and the ecosystem.
Question #2 and #3
Why Ethical Fashion? To be purely honest, I chose to create an Ethical Athletic Wear Brand and Blog because I was passionate about it. Studying and working in the industry made me realize I wanted to be the change. I wanted to look at all these issue (the well-being of consumers, employees, animals, giving back and the current and future impact on our environment) and address them all. As I traveled and my knowledge grew I started to become more and more passionate about creating this brand that “gave out” positive to the world. That it gave more instead of taking from someone, that it spread positive energy to everyone the brand came across, that became and currently is my goal. My two passions, women’s and animal welfare, dear and important to my heart also was a pushing point for me to become this brand. How can I preach to be balanced and great in all areas of life if I don’t believe myself? So that’s what I did, the brand All There August is a resemblance of everything I care about all in one.
Finally #4, how can people look for clothing or products that are considered ethical?
Many brands are starting to address this “issue” in their designing. I say, “issue” in quotes because for me it’s a crystal clear problem that should automatically be addressed when developing a brand and not thought of after the fact.
So one shopping habit people can consider is shopping local. Visit local markets and boutiques around your area and support and buy from these brands. Supporting local helps your community grow and reduces carbon footprint. Look for product using organic or recycled material and check for the “Made in.” Made in the U.S.A is wonderful and supports U.S. manufacturing. Hindsight, there are also brands that help empower women in developing countries by having them create products and provide them with a healthy, safe work environment and pay wage. These brands will usually make this known so it’s very important to support them as well. Cruelty free is another term to look for. This means no animals were harmed in the making of a product and can be found on tags or packaging. As for cosmetics or household items, it will be stated on the bottle or packaging “not tested on animals. “ Another factor to look for, does the brand give back and to what causes? There are also many brands on social media that serve as a platform for social, ethical brands. Their primary focus is to showcase these brands and make it easier for people to find ethical brands in one place.
After reading this maybe you will think to yourself, it’s time to make a change. Now if you are new to this world make small changes. Read labels or use products not tested on animals, so look for that sign or tag (usually has a small bunny, cruelty free or not tested on animals). The smallest changes matter, you matter and animals matter. Once you are aware, (which after reading this I hope you are and look up ethical fashion brands and products) you can make positive changes, remember that.
Live Balanced. Live Great.