Ethical fashion needs to become a new lifestyle, not just the next trend.
hemp t-shirt courtesy of ONNO | jumpsuit from JustFab | choker from ALDO
Do you know the cost of what you are buying, wearing, or throwing away? What is it that makes a t-shirt from one store $40 and from from another store $5? What are we really paying for when we purchase apparel at an "amazing deal"?
Although I am a consumer of fast fashion myself, I would like to make known the side of the fashion industry beneath the glossy magazine pages. I believe that if all consumers become aware of these deep issues, we can rally together to make a change. Trust me, once you know all the facts, that $5 t-shirt may not be worth wearing.
Apparel production puts our earth at risk with the amount of water used, pesticides sprayed onto cotton crops, and petroleum used to make polyester to name a few. Dyeing fabrics contribute a whole lot of pollution to our atmosphere. The industry also directly impacts the conditions of labor in other countries, just so companies can sell an item for that 'unbelievably' low price. Workers in some countries are only making a few cents per hour, and in conditions that are hazardous to their health which may ultimately end lives. (Read about the 2012 Bangladeshi factory that killed its 1,100 workers here.) If you ask me, I don't think it's acceptable ever to have anyone work in such conditions even if it means I'll have to pay more for what I'm wearing. All human lives are equal after all. Why should one country suffer so that another can reap the benefits?
Here's an infographic courtesy of indigenous.com to illustrate the numerical facts behind the apparel industry. To find out more about the environment impact of the fashion industry, read here. If you want to make a difference, simply spread the word, make better-educated choices when it comes to purchasing your next apparel item, and advocate for change for the industry. Our Earth has a finite number of resources, and it would be sad to say that we wasted it on something as infinitesimal as clothing.
Photos by Kevin C.