When it comes to sustainable fashion and eco fashions, they are seen interchangeably. This is not entirely true, and it’s important to distinguish the two. Here’s why
Eco Fashion Can Ignore Human Rights Violations
Yes, you read that right. Since eco fashion is sometimes confused with sustainability, it’s important to realize that the two are not the same.
Sustainability is the balancing combination between people, the planet, and the environment.
This means that if someone labels their clothing as eco-friendly, they don’t have to disclose that their products were possibly made by child slaves. It’s not always the case, but understand that there has to be a triple-bottom-line involved for a company to legitimately call themselves sustainable. This is a huge problem.
True Sustainable Fashion is Environmentally Friendly AND Does Not Exploit Workers Rights.
This is so SO important for consumer habits. We can’t fix the world’s problems by shopping. We can, however, demand better quality products that aren’t destroying the planet or harming the rights of people. An official trade regulation certification does not exist yet for this problem in the realm of fashion. Some day, I want to make it, if it doesn’t exist by then. Until then, know that true sustainability happens when:
- The product is from an environmentally friendly source
- Workers have safe working conditions and earn a living wage
- The company can make a decent profit, and the garment is affordable
Obviously, there is some gray area with all of these. Sustainable fashion is the tip of the iceberg for a larger society-wide problem of excessive consumerism and over-extraction of natural resources. A wardrobe isn’t going to solve that, but it can definitely help.
Some day there will be a much better system for producing and consuming our clothing. The fashion industry will be dominated by medium sized designers instead of the huge conglomerates. We will get there. Until then, we can focus on buying the best possible garments for their own right.
To help with this, I put together a guide for aspiring sustainable fashion business owners. I’m also going to be putting together a course pretty soon on sustainable fashion start-ups. If you’re interested, check out the form below to get a copy of the FREE Guide.