I attended two weddings during the last two months of 2015. I was quite pleased with myself when I “recycled” the dress and shoes I wore to the first wedding and wore them to the second as well, reducing my fashion consumption. But as I view photos of myself at those happy events–looking like an “angel” someone said–wrapped in tulle, satin, and shimmer, “angelic” does not describe how I feel. I cannot help but wonder whose dainty fingers might have been used to attach the sequins that made my dress sparkle. Who stitched beaded flowers onto mesh over its “sweetheart” neckline? What kind of price was paid so I could have this beautiful dress, and who bore the real cost? Continue reading “An Ethical Resolution?”
Are you concerned about the impact your fashion choices have on the well-being of other people and the planet? Ethical fashion is a growing movement to address the high cost of “fast fashion” to the environment and those in the supply chain of each garment. While it is still challenging to find ethical fashion on the high streets and in shopping malls, many companies are making it available online. Here are FIFTY-FIVE of the ones I’ve discovered! I’ve chosen each company because they have at least one characteristic of an ethical fashion company: sweatshop-free, fair wages, sustainably-produced textiles, reduced waste, and animal welfare. Comment to let me know what your favourites are, or if I’ve missed a great ethical fashion company.
Please note: Information below is gleaned from company websites. I have not vetted the claims these companies make or their business practices, although I have purchased from some of them. While many of these shops also sell giftware, I have focused on clothing, accessories, footwear, and handbags. And since I’m Canadian, Canadian shops are identified with a maple leaf. For more information on ethical fashion, see my blog post, “An Ethical Resolution?”
Adhesif Clothing makes one-of-a-kind pieces from new and recycled vintage fabrics in Vancouver, Canada. For: Women’s Apparel
Annie Greenabelle is a UK-based clothing company that offers pieces made from organic cotton, as well as items made in the UK. All factories used to produce their line comply with the Ethical Trading Initiative base code. For: Women’s Apparel, Accessories
Bibico uses 100% natural materials to make its garments and has an organic cotton collection. Clothing is produced by women’s cooperatives that are fair trade certified by the World Fair Trade Organization. For: Women’s Apparel (including denim), Accessories Continue reading “Ethical Fashion – 55 Fabulous Finds!”
The True Cost (2015)
Written and directed by Andrew Morgan | Produced by Michael Ross | 92 minutes
Rating: PG-13 (thematic elements and disturbing images)
One in six people on the planet work in the global fashion supply chain, making fashion the most labour-dependent industry on earth. “The True Cost”—a breathtaking and heartbreaking documentary—reveals how consumer fashion choices impact these workers, the rest of us, and our world.
Eighty billion garments are purchased each year globally—400 percent more than two decades ago. The industry that once had two fashion seasons annually now has 52 as retailers peddle new product weekly, supplying shoppers with an endless fix of inexpensive clothing.
What is the consequence of this fashion obsession—the true cost of “fast fashion?” According to the documentary, it is the suicides of hundreds of thousands of Indian cotton farmers unable to escape debts to biotechnology and agrochemical companies, the decimation of local garment industries in low-income countries swamped by donations of cast-off clothing, and the toll taken on the earth’s ecosystems as every step in a garment’s life threatens them. Continue reading ““The True Cost” – A must-see for anyone who wears clothes”
A troubling advertisement showed up on my Twitter feed this morning. It’s back-to-school time, and retailers are targeting parents (and children) with ads telling them what they must have to be prepared for a new school year. Walmart Canada’s ad promoted the social ill of overconsumption, which feeds the “fast fashion” trend. Like fast food, fast fashion is attractive to people who want to purchase a large quantity of a product for as little money as possible. But just as the fast food craze overlooks the consequences of overconsumption to health, the fast fashion trend overlooks the consequences to those in the fashion supply chain.
Walmart Canada thinks Canadian children need a lot of clothing – “tees for every mood.” Walmart’s child model had 10 moods (and 10 different t-shirts) in the 15-second commercial that confronted me on Twitter.
And guess what? Having an overabundance of clothing is no longer possible for only the wealthiest in our society. Walmart Canada makes it easy for almost everyone to have more clothing than they need by sourcing outrageously cheap garments and passing on the savings to us: t-shirts, $4 each! Continue reading “Walmart Canada ignores the high cost of fast fashion”