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What is ethical fashion?

September 02, 2021 3 min read

What is ethical fashion?
This article is an automatic translation from our Original French blog. This text may contain translation errors. Thank you for your understanding.

Have you ever heard of ethical fashion? The term 'ethical' has become synonymous with sustainable and responsible fashion and is becoming increasingly present in the fashion world. Ethical fashion refers to fashion designed via an eco-responsible model, taking into account ethical and environmental principles. Brands and designers advocating ethical fashion will seek to produce textiles and accessories in an environmentally friendly way and develop the local economy.

Ethical fashion has many advantages for producers, allowing them to achieve
Environmentally friendly production, through the use of natural materials such as cotton, linen or recycled fibres. Most of the materials are organically grown, thus guaranteeing the absence of chemicals. The reduction in the use of toxic products and recycling are also taken into account.

Production that respects social conditions: the manufacture of clothing within the framework of ethical fashion takes into account respect for the working conditions of workers: decent wages, a limited number of working hours, work carried out in good conditions, in a safe environment, etc. We remember the tragic accident that occurred in 2013 in Bangladesh, where the collapse of a textile factory caused the death of more than a thousand people and just as many injuries. This disaster highlighted the many problems associated with the overproduction of textiles, not to mention the lack of respect for workers' conditions.

A production that respects the local economy: the functioning of ethical fashion is similar to that of fair trade: allowing the development of local businesses and the development of the circular economy (green economy, industrial ecology, etc.)



On the consumer side, ethical fashion allows for a commitment to a reasoned and responsible clothing choice.

Indeed, by choosing to go for brands advocating ethical fashion, the consumer will first of all allow the development of a production that respects the social conditions of the workers, as we have seen in the previous paragraph. Thus, if the majority of consumers chose to turn to brands that allow workers to benefit from decent working conditions, then factories that exploit workers in deplorable conditions would gradually close.

Ethical fashion also responds to the consumer's eco-responsible expectations: awareness of our actions on the environment, and the damage they cause, has become more and more important today. Little by little we are keen to limit the impact of our footprint on the planet, by adopting environmentally friendly behaviour and attitudes (recycling, favouring public transport, reducing air travel etc). As this sector uses mainly natural and organic materials, the consumer can thus have an eco-responsible buying behaviour.

Finally, ethical fashion allows the consumer to benefit from clothes made from natural materials, not chemically treated. For example, so-called synthetic materials, such as polyester or acrylics, are obtained by transforming hydrocarbons (the best known hydrocarbon being petroleum), and are therefore designed in a very polluting way. Chemical dyeing, which is used for most non-ethical clothing, is also very harmful to health. Indeed, this type of drapery is full of heavy metals, which can eventually lead to the development of allergies when these clothes are worn, not to mention the pollution that this type of dyeing entails, and in particular the water pollution caused by the discharge of these materials by the factories.

Choosing to opt for ethical fashion clothing and accessories allows you to adopt a truly eco-responsible approach, combining environmental protection with the protection of workers' well-being.