So it's no surprise that we are all about ethical and sustainable fashion here at Thread Harvest. We literally live and breathe the industry and our vision is to lead a revolutionary change for people and planet through ethical and sustainable fashion.
We often get asked, however, what we mean by ethical and sustainable fashion. The question is not a surprising one, and the reality is that there is no globally enforced industry regulations or standards to help us to determine what constitutes ethical fashion. Some countries (like Australia, US and Europe) will have their own domestic standards for labour and environmental practices, but these vary from country to country. For example, China has no Fair Trade Certification, the enforcement of labour legislation is weak and Unions are basically illegal. (ref.) This results in a global industry that is in disarray, the proof of which is found in statistics like these:
- The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, second only to oil.
- It's estimated 168 million children globally are engaged in child labour.
- In China, 200 tonnes of water is used for every 1 tonne of fabric dyed.
- If you want to know what next's season must-have colour is, look no further than the rivers in China, which flow with the untreated toxic run-off from the dye.
Ethical fashion is where a factory or brand insists on engaging in a supply chain that is traceable, includes Fair Trade practices, pays staff a living wage and uses processes that reduce the environmental footprint of fashion.
As consumers, that can either sound really boring or a little overwhelming - who wants to look into the supply chain of every item of clothing they purchase? #noone
We realised this fairly early on in our journey and came to the conclusion that consumers needed a place where they could shop confidently, knowing the hard work was done for them in determining whether or not a brand was ethical. In order to easily communicate this, we developed our Impact Badges.
These Badges are what we determine is ethical and sustainable fashion and they work two-fold. We vet our brands by these badges and they allow you, the ethical fashionista, to shop what matters to you.
You don't have to figure out if that top you love is made with Organic Cotton or if the factory/brand that produced it pays it's staff a Living Wage - you simply need to shop by style or shop by value. If you care about Eco-Friendly processes of making the product, such as reduced water waste, then you can shop clothing and accessories that adhere to those practices. If you just care that it looks good, then you can shop by category, like Dresses or Accessories, and have peace of mind that your purchase is not only going to look good but do good as well!
If this whole ethical and sustainable fashion gig is new to you, then our Impact Badges are a great place to start your education. Ethical fashion is an important issue, it's a movement of fashion loving people who want to not only produce gorgeous clothing but who don't want to cause harm to people or planet for the sake of looking good.
By shopping ethically and sustainably you are actively taking part in creating a better world for everyone.
We don't consider ourselves to be the authority on the matter of ethical and sustainable fashion, we're just a really passionate group of people, so if you think we're missing a key element of ethical fashion, let us know! We want to be a business that truly captures ethical and sustainable fashion and provides you, ethical fashion wearing do-gooder, the easiest shopping experience that allows you to shop what matters to you.
Because it's going to take all of us to create change - we can't do it without you!