It is ridiculously easy for you to find shops where you can buy a beautiful shirt costing the same price as a coffee in one of Europe’s capital cities. This is known as fast fashion.
You, just like the rest of us, can find and buy it very fast. But, the word fast somehow contradicts the word responsible. To some degree, this is the case when it comes to fast fashion, or more precisely its impact in our environment and wellbeing of people.
Fast fashion describes the fashion industry producing more clothing for consumers faster. New items are introduced all the time and it is a bit hard to distinguish which is the latest trend.
This type of fashion is mostly recognized for its poor quality, cheap items and disposable clothing. According to an article, published on Pebble Magazine, the fashion industry churns out a gargantuan 80 billion garments a year – that’s over 10 for every person on earth. And it’s 400% more than it produced 20 years ago.
Behind these statistics stands the work of thousands of working people, working in minimum wages and in desperate, poor conditions.
This concerning fact was brought into public’s attention in April, 2013, when over 1,100 garment workers were killed and over 2,200 others were wounded in the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh.
Like never before, this terrible happening made consumers start to wonder who makes their clothes, in what sort of conditions and most importantly at what cost?
The True Cost documentary highlighted how the existence and rise of the fast fashion industry is built on diminishing nature’s resources and extreme bad working conditions, described by many as slave labour.
To do their part in fighting this, people began to understand and embrace the ethical fashion.
The term is a blending of sustainable fashion and fair trade on the other hand. Ethical fashion puts in centre both the environmental and social implications caused by the prevalence of fast fashion. A crucial component of ethical fashion is its aim to improve the working conditions also.
Another way of doing your part is knowing companies that with their sustainable, eco-friendly products are battling against fast fashion. Let’s start by counting four of them in this Youth Time piece, each having a different country of origin.
The Giving Movement
The Giving Movement is a sustainable brand that’s designed and manufactured in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), blending active and streetwear.
They donate $4 to their partner charities for every item sold. Bear in mind, not the total amount, but for every single item in their consumers’ basket.
Their philosophy is: ‘’Small acts multiplied by many people can transform the world’’. Calling it conscious consumerism, the Giving Movement strives for a product that doesn’t harm our planet further and helps to change the lives of those who need it most.
They primarily use two sustainable materials; recycled nylon which is made from waste plastic water bottles and certified organic bamboo which is made from biodegradable bamboo pulp.
You can read more about their fabrics and responsibilities as a brand here.
Patogonia, an American clothing company beyond any doubt knows how to prioritize durability results in consuming less energy, wasting less water and creating less trash.
Over the years, Patagonia has built a robust social-responsibility program that analyses and manages the impacts their business has on the workers and communities in their supply chain.
Their goal is not just to minimize harm, but to create a positive benefit for the lives that Patagonia touches through their business. 100% of the cotton they grow for their clothes is grown organically and 68% of their lines use recycled materials.
For this to be even more compelling take a look at Patagonia’s self-imposed tax known as Earth Tax.
The company gives 1% of sales to grassroots environmental organizations. Read more here.
Conscious, committed and sustainable. These are the three first adjectives you will see once visiting the site of Zavi, a start-up originating in India.
The company believes that clothing can be 100% sustainable, in consumption consciously. Zavi’s fabrics are made from natural fibres and dyes that are eco-friendly and organically produced – they also feel better and last longer.
As a conscious clothing brand, Zavi holds itself accountable for the entire lifecycle of every garment they produce, which is why they make it their responsibility to be proactive in finding ways in which the company can continue to better their practices and sustainable solutions across their entire supply chain.
Read here to learn more about the materials they use and tips on how to make your clothes (and the planet) last as long as they were designed to.
100% of Vege Threads (VT) garments are made onshore in Australia. They care about the world we live in and as such they try and tread lightly, keeping things simple and made local.
VT collections are manufactured 100% in Australia using organic and eco-friendly materials and dyes in limited numbers.
It embraces the shift towards slower living and aims to provide their customers with long lasting, practical yet beautifully designed garments. VT continually strives to improve sustainability through transparency and a greater environmental and social-economic success. Click HERE to find more about it.
Photos: Shutterstock / Edited by: Martina Advaney
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