How can I know if my favorite brands follow ethical manufacturing practices? In our daily lives, we might hear about this in one of two ways:
1. Brand X mistreats its workers or the environment. Breaking news of this comes to light. For a day or two, we disavow this brand.
2. Brand Y is emphasizing an aspect of sustainable manufacturing. We see an email promoting this and feel good about buying something from the organic/recycled/artisan collection.
But we need to dig deeper. To see the whole picture, we need to do some research on our own.
Where to start? You could try the brand’s website. Retailers such as H&M are leading the way in the fast fashion industry by promoting initiatives like reducing emissions and only partnering with factories the meet a strict set of standards.
What about the brands that aren’t publishing their own information? They still need to be held accountable. Fashion Revolution is aiming to do just that with their annual Fashion Transparency Index (FTI).
The FTI ranks the transparency of 150 top fast fashion brands with a scoring system based on the following areas:
So what are you waiting for? Dive into the 2018 Fashion Transparency Index! In it you will find detailed information about the importance of transparency, the methodology of the study, your favorite brand's ranking and more.
Why Transparency? Brands need to be held accountable for their manufacturing practices in order for them to improve. According to Fashion Revolution, transparency leads to accountability which leads to change.
Transparency across a spectrum of issues including fair trade, living wages, gender equality, business accountability and environmental sustainability are all essential pieces of the puzzle.
This is a greater challenge than it might seem because most brands do not own their manufacturing facilities which makes it difficult for them to monitor the conditions there. Brands that make monitoring their supply chain a priority are able to be held accountable and therefore, more likely to be working toward positive change.
When I first Googled “sustainable fashion” I was overwhelmed by the pages of articles I found decrying fast fashion as the root of all evils and suggesting I shop from upscale, expensive ethical brands I had never heard of.
The articles you’ll find make very valid points. Fast fashion can perpetuate a cycle of waste and poor treatment of laborers and the environment. Shopping from ethical brands can circumvent participation in this cycle, and of course these brands are a little bit pricier. Better wages and materials drive costs up- go figure!
However, the proposal of completely changing the way I consume clothing was super intimidating to me. I realized that if I want to become a more sustainable consumer, the best way to do so is to from where I am. Right here, right now. There are a plethora of ways I can rectify my habits that are easy, free and fun. You don’t have to overhaul your habits. Simply tweaking them is an easy way to start becoming more sustainable without losing your style.
Here are four ways to shift your wardrobe habits to make them more eco-friendly! Chances are, you already practices some of these without thinking about it!
2018! Why not start off the New Year with the goal of becoming a more engaged and sustainable consumer? Do your favorite brands' supply chains line up with your moral values? Research and find out, all it takes is your curiosity and a Google search. Lookout for the forthcoming "Brand Spotlight Series" to learn more.
Fast fashion is phenomenon in the fashion industry where production processes are expedited in order to get new trends to the market as quickly and cheaply as possible. It’s no surprise that apparel companies are working under this business model. Today, consumers want Instagram trends at Amazon Prime speeds.
If you buy your clothes from a brand you can find at the mall, odds are you are a consumer of fast fashion. Favorite fast fashion brands include H&M, Zara, Topshop, Forever 21, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, the list goes on and on.
But there is much more to this industry than might meet the eye, from poor working conditions for factory employees to landfills full of last season's hot trends. Fast fashion is leaving its mark on the world but not always in positive ways.
The good news is that YOU have the power as a consumer to choose to support sustainable brands! Project Just and Fashion Revolution provide resources that you can use to evaluate your favorite brands to see if their supply chains align with your moral values.
Over the next several months you can look forward to nifty DIYs, info on your favorite brand’s manufacturing practice and the occasional #thriftspiration.
Check back soon for more and be sure to follow @sustainablestyleinitiative on Instagram for the latest!
My name is Alicia. Welcome to my Girl Scout Gold Award Project! We should all be more aware of the impact the clothes we wear have on the world. Join me on my mission to learn more.