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In a recent article in the Washington post, the writer wrote the following quote:
“The clothes on my back really do connect me with the people who made them in the most intimate way. We as consumers cannot turn our backs on them as they are with us, even now, in the very clothes that touch our skin.”
In light of the recent tragedy in Bangladesh, it seems that ethical fashion is on everyone’s brain. We have done this before, but we felt it was very important to share it again. One of the overwhelming factors that have been talked about in the media is how difficult it is to find ethical clothing. Well, we thought we would provide you with some tips about how you can dress ethically, easily:
- Retro, retro, retro: Look for second-hand fashion locally and online – this is a great way to reduce demand for big name companies with bad practices (such as the ones involved in the factory collapse in Bangladesh), while reusing products that might have ended up at landfills.
- DIY: Do it yourself and figure out how to either start from scratch or refashion an old piece of clothing. Places like Pintrest are a great way to get some DIY ideas.
- Research: Find brands that are exclusively ethical, fair-trade, environmentally-friendly, or all of the above. Brands such as Shopanthropic do the work for you (sourcing and designing ethical fashion) and all you have to do is come online and shop! The best way to find ethical fashion is most like online.
- Look for initiatives such as the Better Cotton Initiative: Stated goal: “make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in and better for the sector’s future.”
- Ask: Next time you walk into a brand name fashion store, ask the manager if they have any fair-trade or ethically made guarantees on their clothing and accessories? If enough consumers question the ethics behind a store’s manufacturing processes, companies will have to rethink their policies (Earlier this month, for example, shareholders had to walk through demonstrators at Gap’s annual meeting demanding that the company sign a new Bangladesh factory safety accord).
Perhaps if more consumers follow these trends and tips, we will be able to avoid other factory collapses and deaths around the world.
In an exciting update on the situation in Bangladesh, the government has recently allowed the country’s 4 million garment workers to form unions without having to have the permission of factory owners. This step will enable workers to fight for fair wages and safe working conditions.