We spoke to ethical, sustainable fashion brand Know the Origin. Here they explain why it’s important to learn more about how our clothes are made and why transparency is so important.
The fashion industry is changing. In 2019, the British Fashion Council launched the Positive Fashion Initiative. This has been set up to celebrate best practise and sustainable fashion.
This is a crucial step because the fashion industry has got a bad rep for its environmental impact. From putting a strain on natural resources to generating a gigantic carbon footprint. And this is not just the only issue. Factory working conditions have also been called into question over the years. Reports have unearthed shocking information about poor working conditions and low salaries for garment workers. This really makes you stop and think.
Ethical, sustainable fashion is the way forward
In the quest for planet-friendly and human-friendly fashion, it all boils down to transparency. And this is what Know the Origin are all about. Here are their expert insights:
Transparency is missing but it matters
“Currently, 61% of brands don’t know where their clothing comes from and 93% don’t know where their fabric comes from. So, what? Does this lack of transparency in supply chains really mean anything?
But this has a massive impact. Without transparency, there is no way of ensuring protection for workers at every stage of production or ensuring clothing is free from chemical toxins. The lack of visibility allows outsourcing and working conditions of workers and instead favours maximum profit. The fashion industry has become the 2nd most polluting industry in the world after oil, riddled with human rights violations, yet can hold no one accountable.”
If we know where every part of our clothing is made, from the farm, to mill, to the factory, and encourage this information to be publicly available, then it’s the first step in holding corporations responsible for a positive change!”
A rising awareness
“The good news is, you care! An exciting movement has already begun with worldwide trends of customers demanding an improvement in brand ethics. Reports show that ethical treatment of workers and environment are highly influential in purchasing choices and customers are demanding that companies make sacrifices in order to meet these ethics. So how do we make sure our demands are being met? You guessed it – transparency!”
What can you do?
“The transformation has already begun. The diamond industry has seen incredible change; from being one of the most secretive and corrupt supply chains in the world to having international laws produced to track the origin of diamonds.
We can see some transformation in fashion as well, but there is a lot further to go! Big names such as Patagonia, Zara and H&M have already begun the pursuit of sustainable practices. However, to ensure this change is legitimate, and the ‘ethical collections’ of big brands are not made in the same factories as always, we need to pressure them to take the step into transparent supply chains.
You can also make a difference by:
- Support emerging ethical and transparent brands
- Join Fashion Revolution in campaigning for brands for change
- Watch the True Cost and River Blue to learn more!
Definitely something to think about when updating your spring wardrobe! Thanks to Know the Origin for providing these insights. What are your thoughts? Has this article made you think about your own shopping habits? Drop us a comment below or chat to us on socials.