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The Relationship between Sustainable and Ethical Fashion & Social Justice
For many fashion brands, sustainable and ethical fashion is becoming more important than ever as people learn more about social justice. Consumers now demand fashion brands to be transparent in their practices, in order to better protect our environment and people’s rights.
As customers become more aware of the fashion industry’s impact on the environment, they expect companies to look beyond producing appealing fashion styles in a cost-efficient manner and start producing with sustainability, ethicality, and social justice in mind.
The Effects of Fast Fashion
One of the main factors that has increased consumer awareness has been the exposure of the negative effects of fast fashion. Traditional fast fashion brands are building production chains in which profit and convenience are main drivers, sacrificing workers’ rights and wages and damaging the environment.
We can see examples of this in the 2013 Savar building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where 1,100 people died and people were injured as a result of cost-cutting and a non-existent fire safety setup. Other reports revealed the toxic materials used in low-cost clothes and the impact of their production on the environment, leading to a heightened sense of responsibility.
Sustainable & Ethical Fashion’s Role in Social Justice
This newfound awareness of the fashion industry has significantly impacted how successful industries must operate. It’s no longer enough to produce “socially conscious” clothing that is well-designed and aesthetically pleasing. Extra measures must be taken to ensure ethical standards and methods swiftly take into account human households, wages, labor rights and the environment.
Sustainable fashion is about more than just producing clothes in a clean and efficient manner. It’s is a form of social justice, as it has a major role in changing attitudes concerning the environment and the way companies treat their employees. The fashion industry’s transition towards sustainability will reduce the amount of unethical practices put in place in the name of cheap production.
The Benefits of Sustainable & Ethical Fashion
By investing in sustainable fashion, consumers can expect to benefit from:
- A cleaner and healthier environment
- Protection of animal rights
- Improved wages, labor rights and safety of workers
- Organic and High-quality materials
- Improved access to education and resources for those in impoverished countries
The benefits for sustainable fashion consumers are not just for the environment, but for everyone involved. Consumers of ethical fashion can rest assured that their purchases are making a true impact, not only for the environment but for people too.
The fashion industry is increasingly beginning to realize the importance of sustainability and ethical fashion. We must be willing to make the change in terms of both production and consumption, and put in the extra effort to invest in companies that are making an effort to produce sustainable and ethical fashion.
The only way to make a real change in the industry is to support brands that are fighting to protect the environment and the rights of its workers. When we saw the horrific events of Savar, we were reminded of the real effects that businesses can have on the people and the environment, and the important role sustainability and ethical fashion has in social justice.
We must realize that the fashion industry is not only a business but also an industry that impacts our environment and people’s lives, and be willing to invest our time and money into businesses that are fighting to make a change in our world.