Monday, 14 March 2022

Is the fashion industry really broken?

Written by Jack Hesketh
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Nick Karvounis

As fashion consumers, our currency really does count. Small conscientious purchasing decisions can help grow the small section of the industry that puts ethics at the top of their agenda. As consumers we have to lead the way, here is who, how and why.

We now consume and dispose of clothing faster than ever before. We want what we see, and we want it for a price that’s simply unsustainable.

Over the last 20 years, somewhere, someone or something, always pays a price for our unrealistic demands. The explosion of fast fashion has led to a doubling of clothing production, and a shift in culture.

This aggressive consumerism has generated an industry that’s already stretching natural resources and people to their limits.

Behind the haze of branding and carefully curated narratives, there are products, and what really matters is how these products are sourced, manufactured, and disposed of at the end of life. This is the part we almost never see, and there’s a reason for it...

The problem is that the fashion industry has become expert at pulling the wool over our eyes, leading us to believe that all is fair, humane, and environmentally conscious. Many brands know exactly what to say, and how to ‘dress up’ their products with sustainable messaging, whilst falling so far short on the fundamentals, such as supply chain transparency, fabric choice, build quality, human rights, and recycling.

With deep pockets it turns out that greenwashing is all too easy, and before you know it you’ve reached the online checkout of Zara, with 5 more items in your basket than you needed!

Is the fashion industry too big to fail?

It’s now moving at such a pace that it creates 10% of global CO2 emissions, a figure that’s expected to reach 26% by 2050. Textile dying alone already accounts for 20% of global waste water. And cotton production uses 16% of the world’s pesticides. We could go on, but needless to say, we are sleepwalking into an environmental disaster.

The overwhelming majority of the industry has put profit ahead of sustainability time and time again. As consumers we have to lead the way, and our currency really does count. So, through conscientious purchasing decisions we can help grow the small section of the industry that puts ethics at the top of their agenda.

Ethical brands do exist, and there are perhaps even more than you’d think. By supporting these brands, and neglecting those that are blatantly unsustainable, together we can make the incremental changes needed to drive a new, cleaner, conscientious fashion industry that's fit for the future.

About Ethical Clothing

Ethical Clothing was founded to make ethical decisions easier when it comes to buying clothes and accessories. But it doesn’t quite stop there, they are also keen that consumers should receive honest and open information on the important issues relating to sustainability and ethics within the fashion industry.

To help the conscientious consumer and authentic ethical brands alike, Ethical Clothing has begun putting all the ethical clothing products from across Europe in one place, so shoppers don’t have to scour the internet to ensure they’re making the right choices. Because of course, in order to make ethical purchase decisions we need to find authentic ethical options first. By the same token, the brands they feature are given a platform dedicated to helping them find more loyal customers.

To date they have already covered issues like circular fashion, fast fashion, and controversial materials like bamboo & cotton. Their intention is to report it as is, providing an honest appraisal of the issues that matter, as it’s their firm belief that knowledge and understanding is the cornerstone of meaningful change in complex matters like sustainability.

About the Founders

Founders Ben and Jack met when working together at Photoslurp, another startup that was founded by Ben back in 2015. At the time, he was the CTO and Jack an odd type of intern, technically. They immediately found that they shared a lot of common views, especially on environmental issues.

As tech savvy people, keen to spend their money in the greenest way possible, they realized it was surprisingly difficult to find genuine ethical and sustainable clothing, especially when you have something specific in mind. Even with the best intentions, shoppers can get suckered in by bigger brands that might appear ethical, but don’t live up to their green image behind the scenes.

Ultimately, Ben and Jack hope that Ethical Clothing will connect more people with more ethical brands for a frictionless and sustainable shopping journey that helps stem our addiction to fast fashion and throw-away culture.

Visit today. Approved and vetted by Fashions Finest sustainability enthusiasts.

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