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What is Ethical Fashion?

Updated: Apr 14

When you look up the definition of ethical fashion, you will find that it encompasses many areas in the fashion industry. It includes looking at design, production, retail, purchasing and considers a range of issues like working conditions, exploitation, fair trade, sustainable production, the environment, and animal welfare. Ethical fashion is centered around the garment workers themselves and how every process impacts them. While many brands have fostered fair working conditions in the fashion industry, in order to be a truly ethical company, they must consider every phase of the design and development process and the impact it makes.



Why do we need Ethical Fashion?


It’s no secret that the mistreatment of garment workers, such as sexual harassment and child labor, is common in this industry. With the majority of manufacturing companies outsourcing to the Global South, the garment workers (made up of 85% women) are vulnerable to unfair conditions. With lax labor laws that allow low pay, unhealthy working conditions, and extremely long hours, brands have an easier time exploiting these workers.


Having awareness of where your clothes came from and who made them is a great way to support ethical fashion. To stop unfair labor practices from happening and protect the rights of these workers, we need to think about our purchases and the brands we are supporting. By being mindful of where we get our clothes, we can positively affect the entire production of garments and those involved in the process.



How can you support Ethical Fashion?


When purchasing clothing, do you think about the people and the processes behind them? Do you think about the treatment of everyone involved in creating each item you purchase? Most likely, you trust the brands you know and assume they are doing what is right. Being aware of how, where, and by whom our clothing is made is not something we are taught. Here are ways you can support ethical fashion and start making a change.


  1. Educate Yourself - Do your research about brands and their processes. Learn about things like greenwashing and find out if a product/brand really is ethical or are they just using trendy words to come off eco-friendly. Before you go shopping or click “Buy Now”, do your homework. Feel like really making a change? Encourage the brands you love that are not following ethical guidelines to start making the change themselves. Get yourself the Goodonyou App and check out the brand before you make that purchase.

  2. Limit Your Shopping - Don’t just buy because it feels good. Look at what you already have in your closet and try out fun new ways to style items. Consider swapping clothes with friends or family members as a way to get new clothing.

  3. Only Shop Ethical - If you must get clothes, support brands that follow true ethical practices. Consider shopping second-hand at your local resale and thrift stores or online at shops like Poshmark and ThredUp. Again check out Goodonyou where you can find many brands in the Ethical Fashion space.

Supporting ethical fashion will make a difference- it will help us reduce fashion's impact on the environment and on these workers. Educating yourself, sharing your knowledge with others, and making small changes each time you buy clothing or trade brings us one step closer to having a more ethical fashion industry.


What are some of our current Favs? Personally, finding capsule wardrobes that are easy to mix-and-match are my favorites! It makes dressing in the morning easy, and traveling is a breeze when you have a couple of pieces you can throw in your suitcase and still look polished.



Cool Weave Capsule from ADAY


ADAY's Cool Weave Capsule is a 5 piece set designed to capture the natural cool and elegance of wind. Cool Weave is powered by brrr° – a fiber that is Oeko-Tex and Global Recycle Standard certified, chemical free and provides an instant and continuous cooling sensation that won’t fade or wash out. This innovative fabric is 80% cooler than comparable fabrics, with superior moisture wicking, drying and UPF 50+ properties.


Vetta is another great brand to build your Ethical Capsule Wardrobe


Fashion should be fun! it can be positive! AND you can make a difference simply by making thoughtful purchases and having awareness of the brands you support.

Thanks for reading today and supporting ethical fashion brands! Have a favorite brand you want to share? Send us a note: design@insidefashiondesign.net