Why You Should Shop Ethical Fashion


Before we jump into why you should shop ethically, let’s review what exactly ethical shopping is. Ethical Fashion does not have one specific definition, it is an open-ended term. It discusses fashion design, production, retail, and purchasing, and covers a range of issues such as working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare. Ethical fashion is meant to address issues within the fashion world and raise awareness.

Ethical fashion can also be grouped together with ‘sustainable fashion’. Making fashion sustainable is using resources that are not harmful to the environment. It also means using less of the natural resources; for example, sustainable fashion companies strive to use less water when making clothes and reusing materials. Ethical fashion and Sustainable fashion are siter terms and for the most part, can be used in place of each other. 

Brands that are not Ethical can be described as ‘fast fashion’. Fast fashion is “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” Fast fashion is extremely harmful for the environment and is the second most polluting industry on Earth, right behind oil. Ethical fashion goes against these toxic ways and raises awareness about the issues fast fashion creates. 

Companies that are ethical practice in many sustainable ways. Some ethical practices can be sustainable cotton, eco-friendly practices, fair labor practices, recyclable materials, giving back, and so much more. While it is almost impossible to find a brand that is completely ethical, many have taken steps to practice being sustainable. 

While it seems that every company should be trying to help the environment, that is unfortunately not the case. Many companies sacrifice the Earth because it is more cost effective. This means that brands that are ethically sourced are much more expensive than your $25 Hollister jeans. 

Fast fashion brands tend to produce their clothes overseas. This is because places like China and India do not have strict environmental regulations on their factories, meaning it’s easy for them to dispose of their waste in an unethical manner polluting the world’s waterways with toxic chemicals and microplastics. Ethical fashion companies that are made within the US have lower carbon emissions and higher quality control, making it much more eco-friendly. 

Something else that ethical fashion companies tend to focus on is their labor. Unlike fast fashion companies that pay their employees the least amount of money they can, ethical fashion companies work to give their employees a living wage. This is another reason that companies create their clothing overseas, minimum wage is much lower than the USA and there are few child labor laws. This means that quite a few brands, more than you might expect, use children as manufacturers. The point of ethical fashion is to go against these norms within the fashion industry and create a safer space for workers. 

Now that you know what ethical fashion vs fast fashion is, it is time to look at brands that are ethical and ones that are not. 

Fast Fashion Brands 

  • Victoria’s Secret  
  • Topshop 
  • Shein 
  • Fashion Nova
  • Romwe
  • Hollister
  • Urban Outfitters
  • ASOS 

As well as many other brands that you may not have thought of.

Ethical Fashion Brands

  • Reformation
  • Levi’s
  • Patagonia
  • Kotn 
  • Happy Earth 
  • People Tree
  • Pact 
  • Free People 
  • TOMS 

As well as many other brands, just do your research first.

While I am not saying that your entire closet has to consist of ethical clothing due to the fact that it adds up to a hefty sum, I encourage you to keep sustainable fashion in the back of your mind when shopping for your next outfit. Even investing in 2 or 3 garments makes a difference. The way that we spend our money can help to change the world. Don’t you want to be a part of that?

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