You’ve probably heard the term "ethical fashion" at some point in the last few years. It’s gained a lot of attention recently with the growth of the fast fashion industry, and documentaries like “The True Cost”.
But ethical fashion isn’t just a trendy topic. It is one of the best ways to fight against the fast fashion industry and change the way we manufacture and trade.
In case you don’t know what fast fashion is, its purpose is to pump out cheap trendy styles at a rapid pace that’s not based on need, but desire. That means the clothing is low quality and made with synthetic, toxic materials that are harmful to our health.
Since the clothing is so cheap it doesn’t last and isn’t even worth donating, so people just end up tossing it out. These clothes end up in our landfills. If you are able to actually donate clothes, those will probably end up in a landfill also. Statistically, out of all the donated clothing in the US only 10% gets resold.
Because the clothing is made of synthetic materials and chemicals they can take hundreds of years to degrade, while simultaneously releasing toxic dyes and chemicals into the earth and air. To put it simply, fast fashion is hurting our planet.
Our planet is not the only victim of the fast fashion industry, though. So many people, especially women, are being taken advantage of for the sake of fast fashion. The cheap clothing is often made by young girls ages 18-24. Most of these women make less that $3 a day, and work well beyond our average 8-hour workdays. When companies source cheap materials to be made at extremely low costs this drives that wage down even further, while causing the need for production to increase.
This information is shocking, but there are things we can do as fashion lovers and consumers to help make fast fashion a thing of the past. By investing in ethical fashion and using ethical materials in your own fashion business we can force brands to invest in more sustainable materials and safer working conditions.
When you purchase clothing from a fast fashion retailer like Forever 21 or H&M you are contributing to the issue, even if it is unknowingly. Take your power back by purchasing clothing, accessories, and materials from brands that treat their workers right and believe in using organic materials free of toxic dyes and chemicals. By purchasing clothing and accessories from ethical brands you aren’t just investing in yourself, you’re investing in our planet and the good of humanity.
We pride ourselves at A.M. Club, in being a slow fashion brand that focuses on high quality, luxury products that are meant to be passed down from generation to generation. The purpose of A.M., and the whole reason we started, was to bring awareness to specific global issues through wearable art. We hope more brands can start following the right thing to do, rather than the cheapest, thoughtless way. Every action makes a difference. Start small.
(2017, July 26). Fast Fashion Is A Disaster For Women And The Environment. Retrieved January 15, 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2017/07/26/fast-fashion-is-a-disaster-for-women-and-the-environment/#2c984aef1fa4