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Sunday, 8 May 2016

ETHICAL FASHION

The question of ethical fashion is one that has been coming up for me quite a bit over the last 12 months.  It’s a challenging topic.  I strongly oppose the ill treatment of workers, their exploitation and the payment of inadequate wages.  However so often clothing that is ethically made seems to sit right outside of my budget, so I feel badly for a few minutes and then continue buying clothing from brands regardless.  I am embarrassed to admit that it has been all too easy to bury my head in the sand and tell myself there is nothing I can do.

Each year, Baptist World Aid produce the Ethical Fashion Guide and 2016’s was released last month.   Companies and brands are graded on their labour rights management systems. Higher grades correspond to systems which, when implemented well, should reduce the risk of modern slavery, child labour and exploitation.


I was pleased to see some high profile brands, along with some great Australian labels, receive a B grading, or higher, including:

Bonds, Cheap Monday, COS, Country Road, Esprit, H&M, JAG, Saba, Sportscraft, Suzanne Grae, Veronica Maine, Witchery & Zara.

I was also surprised to see that that lower end brands like Kmart,  Supre and Rubi and Cotton On (the same group) rated well.

It appears ethically made clothing is actually available at all price points!
One of my favourite labels, Motto, doesn't appear on the list, however investigation supports their ethical stance.  Another of my favourites unfortunately rated only a C+ giving me cause to consider my future purchases.

The Ethical Fashion Guide seeks to empower the consumer to purchase from companies that treat their workers ethically, and I plan to use this as a resource for future purchases.  I am also feeling quite motivated to communicate with those brands/labels that I like, that don't stack up, and let them know that this is an important issue which will impact my future purchasing decisions.

Is this an issue that is important to you?

xxx Deborah

*This guide is a companion to the 2016 Australian Fashion Report


4 comments:

  1. Definitely! I first started trying to buy ethically a few years ago, when there was less attention given to this issue by other consumers. I'm so pleased it's becoming a more mainstream issue as more consumers asking questions is going to put pressure on the companies. As for Metalicus, I think their rating has improved compared to other years, but there is still room for improvement, especially when they used to make their clothes here in Australia.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for reading Jo:) I agree, the consumer has got to start asking questions and be prepared to my sacrifices is this is really an important issue to them. I think Metalicus has improved but not enough :(

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