What is ethical fashion?
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Hey <<First Name>>, 

So, you were wondering what ethical fashion is?

To me, at its simplest, ethical fashion is an ethical way of making clothing, where common ethics–labour rights really–ensure anyone involved in the manufacture of clothing is, at the very least, paid a fair wage and provided a safe place to work.  When I say safe, I’m thinking about the property within which they work and the tools they use, as well as that they are safe from mental, physical and sexual abuse or intimidation. Finally, I mean safe in that they are not overworked and have enough money to support their and their families basic health needs.
A fashion company (or any company for that matter) should also maintain responsible, good and fair codes of conduct as well as be transparent about it. As consumers we have the right to know who made our clothes and in what conditions.  

Thank you to the many people who got in touch and asked some really good questions. I’ll be answering some of these questions in future blogs, either as topics or as tips within the blog. We’ll also keep a note of the Q&As and share them with you.  
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Tip of the month - start small

Feel like you want to go out there and buy a whole new ethical wardrobe? Start small with underwear.  The Ethical Fashion Guide contains brands which do underwear: Kowtow, Mighty Good Undies and Etiko. In the full Ethical Fashion Report you'll also find Audry Blue and Cotton On Body get high ratings. Tummah, an ethical marketplace, is a great place to grab a few of these brands.

Sustainable vs Ethical

Sustainable fashion alludes to the impact fashion has on the environment, for example the toxins or dyes used when producing a garment. Brands that call themselves sustainable will often also be ethical and vice versa, because these are both ethical or conscious choices. Brand or corporate values that prioritise caring for the planet generally include caring for people too.  

Where to find ethical fashion?

Brands that rated in A+, A and A- all have something in common; strong worker empowerment – those are those rights to fair wages and safety mentioned above, auditing and knowing subcontractors (I’ll touch a little bit on transparency and greenwashing in a future blog) as well as organisational policies for upholding those codes of conduct.  

I would also encourage you to continue to look at mainstream brands (those that don’t market themselves as ethical but rate really well in the guide). By supporting mainstream brands that are improving their garment manufacture ethical standards we are giving them a clear message that the better they become, the more we will buy. It’s as important to support ethical brands as it is to encourage mainstream brands to become ethical.

If you love a brand but it gets a poor rating, be sure to get in touch with them by email to say you’re disappointed in their particular rating, and want them to do better. It really does help, especially when you realise thousands of other people have downloaded the ethical guide and might be doing the same!

Coming up next month

Good luck checking out some of these brands over the next month. In the next edition, we’ll look at one of the most important events in the history of the ethical fashion movement, review a couple of other brands and answer more questions.


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