With a growing focus in recent years on the damage we are doing to our planet and the treatment of those living on it, people are starting to take matters into their own hands.
You might not be surprised to learn that the fast-fashion industry accounts for one of the biggest pollutants of our planet. Every year, more than 90 million tonnes of waste is produced from the fashion world, and most retailers only sell around 70% of their stock. The remainder? Dumped, along with the rest of it.
Additionally, workers in the fast fashion world are most times treated inhumanely, forced to work unthinkable hours and in incredibly dangerous conditions. We’ve all heard of the sweatshops where workers, including children, create our garments… This is still very much happening as we speak.
While we wait in the hopes for the fast fashion industry to have a change of heart, individuals have started to make changes in the way they purchase clothes. One way you can do your bit to ensure you’re not part of the problem is by shopping from sustainable and ethical brands as well as second hand shops.
Let’s take a look at a few options available to you if you’re looking to grab some gorgeous garments while doing minimal damage to our planet…
There are literally heaps of sustainable brands out there today, giving you the option to buy guilt-free garments! Sustainable brands focus on using materials that have been recycled or have GOT certification to ensure they are fully organic.
Truly sustainable brands focus on ensuring that the environmental impact of their products is minimal. Many of the items are built to stand the test of time and are fully recyclable when their time has come. Another plus to sustainable items of clothing are that they are designed to stand the test of time, so you have less need to discard them for many years to come.
Keep in mind though, there’s a big difference between sustainable and ethical brands. Just because your sustainable purchase is doing little damage to the ozone layer, it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t produced by unethical means. If you wish to be mindful about the environment as well as who is making your clothes, opt for ethical and sustainable brands.
Ethical brands’ primary focus is on ensuring that at every corner of the supply chain, workers are treated as humanely as possible. It may not seem like too much to ask, but unfortunately in today’s throwaway culture, people want things as quickly and readily available as possible. This means that, in the process, even workers’ basic rights (like a lunch break, or a safe working environment) are ignored.
Ethical brands strive to ensure all workers work safe and humane hours, the conditions they are working in are safe, they are paid a fair wage for their labour and, of course, no children are used in the supply chain at any point.
Ethical brands and sustainable brands often come hand in hand, but it isn’t always the case that sustainable brands have ethical supply chains, just like some ethical brands don’t use fully sustainable materials.
Shopping at charity shops is great for the environment as you’re ensuring clothes aren’t going to waste. It’s also a whole heap of fun searching for those hidden gems and you’ll look one of a kind in whatever you walk away wearing!
The choice to shop at charity shops or thrift stores doesn’t need to happen overnight. When you next walk past one of these stores, we just urge you to take a little peek inside. You’ll be in for a surprise! You can gradually add staples to your wardrobe and home, ending up with a whole array of exquisitely unique items to wear and show off with pride.
Our top tip for shopping at charity shops? Try to visit ones in more affluent areas, as there are often more valuable goodies to grab in these locations!
How Can I Make My Business
Ethical and Sustainable?
Do you recognise the value of having an ethical and sustainable brand, but aren’t quite sure where to begin with yours?
Well, we at Masala Threads can help you create a completely ethical supply chain using materials from sustainable resources. We offer a selection of services to choose from, including: sourcing, printing & dying, design, production, photoshoots and packaging.