Today, I wanted to discuss why ethical fashion is important.
In today’s society, you’ve probably heard claims that are rising in popularity, particularly about ethical fashion. Many companies, brands, and singular individuals are saying how necessary it is to support ethical companies, live sustainably, and become more eco-friendly.
If you’re new to this specific world, or have really only heard these things in passing, you may be wondering what it all means, and if it’s really important, or just another trend to follow. As a social entrepreneur myself, and being apart of a company full of Artisans, social entrepreneurs, and general do-gooders (being Mango + Moose), I can assure you that these things ARE important.
My family and I lived in Haiti from 2015-2017, and as a result, I was able to see the impact of supporting ethical and small business directly. It was actually because of our time in Haiti that we were incredibly inspired to create Mango + Moose in the first place. Haiti was beautiful, and also humbling, because our time there further taught both my family and I the importance of valuing simplicity, beauty, and most importantly – humanity.
The best way I can think to describe the importance of ethical fashion (on a personal level) is: when you shop at these nearly-monopolized stores, it is difficult if not impossible to see the impactor trust the goods were made in fairness to all. When you shop ethically, sustainably, and small, you often see and feel the impact. Business owner search out to say “thank you”. Small gifts are added to your purchase ingratitude. Social entrepreneurs share stories and pictures to their social media pages and emails to show how YOU, individually, have made a difference -both for them and their business as well as for the makers.
That’s not the only example of why ethical fashion is important, though. It goes beyond this and is much deeper. Ethical fashion is also important to support because it puts big “NO” and “STOP” signs on ‘fast fashion’.
If you aren’t sure what fast fashion is, don’t worry, I’ll explain:
Fast fashion is essentially ‘trends’. It’s clothing that gets swapped in and out of stores within a months’ (or sometimes even weeks’) time. It’s clothing and accessories that often violate workers rights by forcing them to overwork, wastes water, overuses energy consumption, hurts the environment, and wastes materials to create items that will be worn a maximum of 2-3 times.
As you can see, it’s not a good thing.
And it’s been prevalent. Thankfully, more and more people are turning to ethical companies and purchases. You may be wondering what makes something ethical. Allow me to clarify:
Ethical fashion is a large term that can have many different purposes and elements, depending on the environment and company in which it’s produced. However, ethical fashion is essentially the protection and fair treatment of workers, their rights, as well as promoting their livelihood and sustainability. Ethical fashion also takes into account the environment, animals, water, and waste – usually attempting to do no harm to them. Ethical fashion promotes environmental awareness, worker and farmer safety, and is (in my personal opinion) how the fashion and accessory industry SHOULD be run.
After all, we only have this planet that is inhabitable right now, right? So why not take care of it and its inhabitants? That’s my philosophy behind supporting ethical fashion; I believe it’s the future of the next generations.
Plus, there is beauty in sentiment – reaching for a bracelet that I know was handcrafted by a talented Artisan based in Kenya and knowing I’ve supported both their craft and livelihood, rather than something that is flimsy and plastic from a big box store.
I think it’s incredibly important to consider our actions as consumers. Take a deeper look at where we are purchasing from, what we are purchasing, and (if possible) the values, environment, as well as ethics of these companies; what we find my be surprising and call for change.
If you would like to start supporting ethical fashion + accessories but are not sure how, please consider taking a look at Mango + Moose. Our ethical and sustainable fashion, as well as Fair Trade Practices and support of artisans, will definitely inspire you.
Thanks for reading! Remember: BE the change you wish to see!