back into our wardrobes. ‘Ethical fashion’ as described by host Amisha Ghadiali “maximizes the positive benefits on people whilst minimizing the negative effects on the environment” and with her guest speakers suggested the following tips for buying clothes, each one a kind act:
• Buy fair-trade, organic, vintage and/or sustainable clothes
• Take your time when buying clothes – give yourself time to decide if it is really something that you love and will have use for. Setting yourself a quota (i.e. only buying 20 items of clothing a year) may be a great way to achieve this
• Spend more buy less – it is better to save up and invest in a superior quality piece of clothing which will have a much larger lifespan than in poor quality items
• Only wash your clothes when you need to – this is probably much less often than you think
• Don’t support fur
• Try re-cycling, up-cycling and sharing clothes with friends to expand your wardrobe
• Treat cotton as a luxury
• Donate your used clothes (but only those that are worth donating) to a charity shop or clothes bank
• When buying unmarked clothes (i.e. not marked organic, fair-trade etc.) ask about the history of the item: where was the material grown, where was the item made, how far has it travelled, has child labour been used? Let retailers know that you care
The above simple guidelines (and I am sure that you and others can think of many more) will give ‘feeling good about what we wear’ a much deeper and more fulfilling meaning. Think about the real price on the tag on an item of. Of course, as with all environmental rules, we can only follow then as much as is in our means, but each kind act does count.
As a consumer, we drive the industry by the decisions we make with our money and supply will always grow to meet demand. According to the V&A Museum, 100 million shoppers visit Oxford Street alone each year - we have the chance to express the future of fashion. In reality, we are in the driving seat so let’s push for ‘ethical fashion’ to be the biggest hit next season and every one after that. Let’s choose a kinder future for fashion.