Can fashion be ethical?

Clothes are not just stitched pieces of fabric but a definition of a person’s psychology of choices and preferences and also sometimes an economic and social indicator. With designs and fashion trends popping up twice every year, the fashion industry strives to align with the standards of the trendsetters. The demands of the consumers gradually accelerate the fast fashion concept. . Upasana, aware of the fact that these activities are resulting into demolition of resources and humankind has realised its responsibilities towards the planet on which we are surviving.

Slow fashion overtaking fast fashion

Kate Fletcher, who coined the term Slow Fashion defines the movement through a new perspective.It displays a combination of the terms ‘eco’, ‘ethical’ and ‘green’ fashion providing it a common but broader space. It targets reducing both environmental and social impacts of fashion on the earth by collectively realising that our choices and activities can affect both the ecosystem and the people extensively. Slowing down consumption of mass produced garments and pushing our expenditure a little towards ethically produced clothing is one way to contribute to this movement. The consumers’ interest and willingness to invest into ethical clothing will lift the visibility of the slow fashion producers.. Incorporation of sustainable resources and providing the workers with fair wages makes these clothes expensive. Nevertheless, they need profitability to sustain and make a move towards a better future.

Looking at the larger picture, a mutual and collaborative understanding with independent efforts is required to abolish the exploitation of resources involved in the production. Adapting some new values while making purchases will end up not only saving time and money but also pull us out of the prevailing environmental and social crisis.

A leap into slow fashion

1. Replace wants with needs
Considering shopping as an economic act and the idea of moving parallel to prevailing trends gives rise to impulse buying behaviour. In this process, we often purchase clothes that we actually do not require. Treating shopping as a need rather than a want will decrease significant amount of unwanted consumption.

2. Know the history of the product
As a responsible consumer, you must look into the raw materials and processes that the garment is going through. You may not be willing to purchase it knowing the amount of resource consumption involved to produce it. Digging deep into the product’s history keeps you away from contributing into this unfair cycle.

3. Buy less but long lasting products
Instead of buying clothes and discarding them on their damage, prefer to invest in long lasting clothes. They might cost you a little more but they replace your future purchases for a long time hence reducing unnecessary buying.

4. Learn to repair and not replace
A garment is discarded and directly goes into the landfill just because it is torn or because of malfunctioning of the zipper leaving the amount spent on it unjustified. Learning to repair the clothes on its wear and tear will increase its life and save your money from replacing it. Also in this process, a lot of energy and resource is left unharmed.