Fashion is developing, like all spheres of human life. Thus, the principles of sustainable fashion are to some extent based on the ideas of eco-fashion, but go much further. Conscious fashion adds a few more points to the reasonable consumption of natural resources and the use of recycled materials:
- First, there is a rejection of mass production in favor of a more modest scale in order to create a limited number of ‑really high-quality clothes.
- Second‑, according to the philosophy of sustainable fashion, production in third world countries and the inhumane exploitation of the poor in these countries should give way to chamber workshops, in which all safety standards are observed and highly skilled artisans are involved.
- Third, the production process of materials and clothes should not harm the environment and humans.
- Finally, information about each stage of the creation of clothing, shoes and accessories should be available to the consumer. In the ideal case, conscious fashion is based on the principles of environmental friendliness, humanity and transparency.
Facts from history
The issue of ethics was actively discussed in fashion circles at the beginning of the XXI century. During that period, the negative effects of mass production and chaotic consumption became especially noticeable. Tragedies at garment factories in Southeast Asian countries began to cause a loud resonance in the media and, consequently, raise a number of questions about working conditions in these industries. This was the case, for example, of the explosion at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, in which more than 1,000 people died. The beginning of the XXI century was also marked by a special rise in technological progress. Scientific knowledge, resources known at that time and technologies for their treatment made it possible to process waste into new materials using safer methods.
The sustainable fashion initiative brings together marginalized artisans from developing countries, most of whom are women, with international fashion houses for mutual benefit. At the same time, the sustainable fashion initiative uses fashion as a means of development. Artisans from all over the world can earn a living wage by producing coveted fashion goods for the global luxury fashion market.
The sustainable fashion initiative also works with the younger generation of fashion talents from any country, providing them with mentoring to develop their brands and encouraging fruitful cooperation with artisans from other cantries.
The sustainable fashion initiative is an operational unit of the International Trade Center’s Poor Communities and Trade Development Program, which aims to reduce global poverty by attracting micro-entrepreneurs from developing countries through international and regional trade.
What should consumers do?
Researching production methods, supply chains, and corporate social responsibility practices is time-consuming and impractical. Not to mention the fact that many brands do not disclose their internal policies regarding labor or sustainable development. Find a balance where you buy only what you really need and avoid cheap low-quality goods. It is a great way to get started. Look for brands and companies that profess the principles of sustainable fashion. Buy everything from them, from clothes for newborns, to the high quality eco-friendly menswear.