Shopping for ethical clothes is here to stay in Australia. Fortunately, more and more women are becoming aware of the impending fast fashion disaster. In fact, in a recent survey, over 66 per cent of women stated that they would pay more for sustainable and ethical clothes.
Why are so many women switching to Ethical Clothes?
Let’s have a look at the staggering environment impacts of the fast fashion industry.
Firstly, it’s claimed that the fashion industry is the world’s second biggest polluter behind the oil industry. Secondly, the cotton industry is thirsty. Just a single T-shirt needs three years of drinking water to produce it. Plus, gallons of nasty pesticides. These pesticides then runoff into our water supplies. Lastly, it’s estimated that the fast fashion industry is responsible for 10 percent of global carbon emissions. With damning figures like these, it’s no wonder people are starting to move away from fast fashion.
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Despite a shift towards ethical clothing in Australia, the average consumer still buys around 27 kilos of clothing each year and throws 23 kilos away which goes straight to landfill. These are mostly cheap synthetic fabrics based on petrochemicals.
How Do I Know if I’m Buying Ethical Clothes?
Happily, there are ways to make sure you’re buying the morally and environmentally aligned clothes. Look for the following labels on your next purchases:
Living Wage – The UN has determined that everyone has the right to a living wage. This is a wage that is just and favourable, allowing workers to live a life with dignity.
Essentially, by buying ‘Living Wage’ clothes, you’re helping to ensure workers are paid enough for shelter, food, healthcare and other basic essentials.
Eco-friendly – These are clothes produced with minimum environmental impact. Minimal energy and water are used plus little or no chemicals. Care is taken to avoid any adverse effect to the Earth.
Fair Trade – To be considered Fair Trade, producers must adhere to 10 principles. These cover such things as a fair deal for rural farmers, avoiding child labour, reasonable working conditions and a fair price for goods.