The term 'fast fashion' refers to catwalk trends being quickly emulated and produced super cheaply. The fast fashion industry is one of the biggest in the world and responsible for 10% of humanity's carbon emissions, which is more than international flights and maritime emissions combined.
- We are the second largest consumers of textiles in the world
- We consume twice the global average annually
- We send 85% of the textiles we buy to landfill every year
Much of modern textiles, like nylon, polyester, acrylic, and spandex are synthetic materials that are derived from petroleum and do not decay over time and do not break down in the ocean - where they inevitably end up as microplastics. These man-made fabrics are immensely toxic and pollutive to the environment, requiring significant energy, water, and chemicals to produce.
What is ethical clothing?
Ethical clothing can mean more than one thing, a number of factors can make clothing ethical or not, such as:
- Social responsibility - A transparent supply-chain, a respectful and supportive relationship between designer and producer, or a fair trade certification.
- Environmental responsibility - Organic certification, alternative, and eco-friendly fibres and processes are utilised in creating a garment, and appropriate recycling measures are followed in the making of the garment. Transparency in communicating about the ecosystem where the garment’s fibres are produced, where the garment is made and how the garments are transported.
- Does not harm animals to produce - Leather, fur and down are all products of animals and are used in producing clothing. Many companies will state whether they use leather or rather vegan leather, otherwise, there are many online resources.
Brands engaging with any or all of the above factors, at varying levels, are contributing to a more ethical fashion industry. Knowing this, can help you make choices that align with your own values.
Here's a shout out to just some of the brands that doing their bit, in a world where purpose over profit is increasingly celebrated.
Plant dyed bamboo intimates that are sustainably made, ethically produced and natural.
A company that re-purposes tyre-waste into the soles of Australian staples - the humble slides and thongs.
Sustainably minded design, with a focus on timeless movement and not seasonal, fast fashion.
A clothing company with an emphasis on transparent production practices, compostable packaging and education on lengthening the life of your garments.
Made-to-order womenswear with an emphasis on slow and sustainable production practices, as well a range inclusive to sizes 6-16.
"There is nothing wrong with trading goods and services, however, it’s a different story when this reduces the power of local communities, increases the divide between rich and poor, increases our consumption of natural resources, reduces biodiversity and the basic protections of animals." - Shop Ethical