We define ethical fashion in regards to three main pillars, acknowledging that a definitive definition of “ethical” is unrealistic, as what each individual considers ethical is subjective and depends on many cultural and social factors. Here's a simple way to evaluate the brands.
MINIMIZING THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF GARMENT MANUFACTURING ACTIVITIES.
Treatment of waste-water, origin of dyes, pesticides and fertilizers used, and pollution agents generated by factories are factors that can be controlled and supervised to some extent reduce the damage to the surrounding ecosystems.
Deliberately causing harm to the environment when alternative techniques to minimize it are known signals a lack of corporate responsibility.
Some talk about “sustainable fashion” in a separate category to ethical fashion, but the truth is that caring for sustainability and the environment can be included in someones’ ethical paradigm, so we believe that any efforts to propose more environmentally sustainable business practices falls onto the ethical category as well.
RESPECTING FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS REGARDLESS OF THE LOCATION OR LEGAL SYSTEM OF A COUNTRY.
Many of the discussions around this topic revolves around fair wages, appropriate and safe facilities and general workers’ health considerations. Since outsourcing has become a standard practice in the fashion industry, dealing with different countries’ laws or lack of them is a real challenge for the companies that decide to manufacture abroad.
This has changed a lot and different tragedies showing the lack of safe working conditions in some factories have turned the responsibility back to the parent corporations, which have a larger pressure from the public and the media to respond for their vendors’ shortcomings. Deliberately disregarding people’s basic rights just because they are in a different country where laws might be weaker or not.
PROVIDING A QUALITY SERVICE AND TRANSPARENT INFORMATION ABOUT THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A PRODUCT.
Increased public knowledge about injustice in the workplace, hidden animal components of garments and quality of the fibers used drive consumers to ask more questions and get more information before buying. Providing complete data about any relevant detail of a product is an essential component of what we consider an ethical behavior.
Lying, distorting or hiding information is not tolerated and brands should strive to find out consumers information needs and fulfill them the best way they can.