In my last post I discussed the issues and violence surrounding the manufacturing sectors of the fashion industry. While some of the videos and information were disturbing, it allowed for us to really see what is behind the production of the clothing we all too often take for granted. If you reacted like I did, you were mad, upset, sad, and mostly guilty for buying clothing from these manufacturers and not really thinking about the effect of your actions.
For a little historical motivation for change, I provide you with this quote from Thomas Paine, “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.”
If all of those feeling are true for you as well, I want to provide you with some options to make a change in your purchasing habits. If you are a fan of H&M‘s clothing, then you are in luck! According to The Guardian, H&M just might be the new home of ethical fashion. H&M has recently positioned themselves as the second largest retailer in their sector, bringing in $412 Million quarterly. H&M’s sustainability report is set to be released later today, so stay tuned if you want more details about their corporate social responsibility.
“What I can say is that we do the very best we can with a lot of resources and a clear direction of what we’re supposed to do. We’re working really hard.” Says Helena Helmersson, head of sustainability for H&M.
While H&M is making great steps toward being a more socially responsible company, they haven’t fully made the transition to an ethical corporation. However, buying from H&M’s Conscious collection is an awesome step towards a responsible fashion outlook.
In my research on H&M I came across another great find, The Guardian spotlights a book by Lucy Siegle dubbed as “An expose on the fashion industry written by the Observer’s ‘Ethical Living’ columnist, examining the inhumane and environmentally devastating story behind the clothes we so casually buy and wear.” Click the photo below for more information and to purchase the book.
Straying from the fashion industry for just a moment, I want to highlight the website called U : R E S I S T. It is an online medium that sells clothing in an effort to support the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, with 100% of their proceeds going to that cause. They also blog on hot button issues in an effort to support resistance movements as well as fuel the fire of those who are already interested in large-scale movements, such as OWS. While I personally do not agree with some of the things they say on their site, it really is a great resource to get started or find some motivation to make a change in your own life as well as make your resistance outwardly visible to those around you!
In an attempt to find digital resources in which consumers can look to for help with staying sustainable and resist the norm of sweat shops, underpaid, and mistreated workers, I came across the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF). It is a resource for fashion professionals in an effort to create a sustainable and responsible future for the fashion industry.
A not for profit organisation, EFF aims to make it easy for fashion professionals to integrate sustainability at the heart of what they do. Membership of the ETHICAL FASHION FORUM delivers support for fashion businesses towards sustainability through three programmes. Each programme includes several essential tools which members can take advantage of to succeed in ethical fashion business.
- Can H&M really claim to be ethical? (bfreenews.com)
- On the ethics of fast fashion (operationsroom.wordpress.com)
- Suzy Menkes on Fast Fashion, Sustainability, and Luxury (fabsugar.com)
- From Plastic Bottles to Fashion Apparel – The Latest in Sustainable Clothing From Jackpot Sustainable Fashion (modaelle.wordpress.com)
- Fab Site: Thread.com (fabsugar.com)
- Blog post by Fibre2fashion (fashionindustrynetwork.com)
- Interview / Compassion Couture (brooklynbliss.wordpress.com)