‘Fast fashion’, a term used to describe the speed at which designs on the catwalk can move to retailers and influence fashion trends, is now being criticised and condemned for the breakneck speed at which these clothes are being quickly disposed of by retailers and consumers alike in favour of the ‘newest trends’. Fast fashion is now considered ‘unethical’ and harmful to the environment by keeping the clothes low-quality and therefore cheap and in constant production. All of these elements of fast fashion add up to a significant impact on the environment and those involved in production.
It is no wonder then that many are on the look-out for more sustainable alternatives for the way we think about fashion and buy clothes. The concept of ‘ethical fashion’ therefore is being praised by being an environmentally friendly way of thinking about our clothes and encouraging environmentally conscious decisions about consumerism. This blog will describe ‘ethical fashion’ and discuss why it is important, what to look for when shopping and how Pure Panda is contributing to this ethical fashion movement.
What is ‘ethical fashion’?
As touched upon above, fast fashion is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, water and air pollution, high levels of waste and often see poor working conditions for those involved in production. The idea of ‘ethical fashion’ is a way to combat this, by thinking more sustainably about what we buy and where we buy from. Ethical fashion therefore deals with a range of issues such as how the fashion is produced, its impact on the environment, animal and human welfare and fair trade. Commonly, there are three criteria as to whether the fashion is ‘ethical’: whether it is socially good i.e. the fabrics come from places with good working conditions and fair-trade certifications; planet friendly i.e. using organic materials such as cotton or bamboo or recycling and upcycling products; and animal cruelty free i.e. no uses of leather or animal skins or testing on animals in the production process.
Why is ethical fashion important?
Sustainable clothing and making ethical fashion choices can help address many of the issues surrounding the current climate crisis. It can reduce clothes being produced in unethical practices such as sweatshops and child labour. Ethical fashion also means using eco-friendly and organic materials which do not contain toxins or harmful chemicals which avoids pollution and reduces harm to the Earth’s delicate ecosystems.
What do I look for when shopping?
There are a few things to be on the look-out for when trying to shop ethically. Does this brand give back to the community? Do they demonstrate a relationship with or commitment to a charity or local community? These brands often have a ‘buy to give’ model or donate a percentage of their profits. Have these products been recycled or upcycled? The re-using of materials reduces waste and decreases the amount of produce going to landfill. Does this brand have a Fair-Trade logo? Buying clothes that are Fair-Trade ensures workers receive fair wages and the working conditions are safe and healthy while also supporting local communities. Are these fabrics GOTS certified? The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, and many of Pure Panda’s products have this certification such as in the Piccalilly range with their Space Poncho or Frog Hooded Playsuit.
Pure Panda as a sustainable alternative
Here at Pure Panda our passion is to ensure that our clothing is ethically sourced from the UK and Europe and crafted from organic material. It is our belief that nothing should suffer in the creation of clothes, and so we only work with brands which treat their employees and the environment with care.