the pros and cons of the ethical fashion industry
what is ethical fashion?
To understand what Ethical Fashion is we first need to know what Fast Fashion is in the first place, Fast Fashion is a terrible business practice that not only created a production model where very cheap low-quality garments were made very fast following trends with no regard to the environment and the people, but it has also given more importance to fashion movements that wanted a sustainable fashion industry, one of them is Ethical Fashion, which has actually existed since the 1950s, before Fast Fashion was ever born.
Since then, fashion movements like Ethical, Sustainable and Slow Fashion arose to the surface in one way or another, which is kind of a good thing if we ignore the terrible consequences Fast Fashion has on our world, producing 10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and 20% of global wastewaters, which you might already know by now but it still doesn’t lose its importance and never will.
Ethical Fashion refers to a fashion movement that searches for garments made with respect to the workers that make them, the vendors and small businesses that play a role in the production process, fair trade, and the ethical treatment of all the agents related to the fashion industry, including the environment. Strongly opposing Fast Fashion and the terrible conditions fashion factory workers have to deal with.
This fashion movement actually started in the 1950s when people began realizing the harsh conditions of textile factory workers and it is not a direct result of the birth of Fast Fashion in the 1990s, nonetheless, this situation has exacerbated the importance of Ethical Fashion. After the widespread of Fast Fashion textile workers have only seen their working conditions get worse and worse, with more inhumane retributions, reaching sometimes modern slavery levels.
So in simple terms, Ethical Fashion focuses on the ethical treatment of humans, and animals to achieve a sustainable fashion industry, with support for small businesses and the development of countries that are right now in unfavorable conditions. If you want to know more about this wonderful fashion movement feel free to check out our articles on The Ethical Dilemma of Fashion or Why Is Ethical Fashion Important?
the worst cons and disadvantages of ethical fashion
Now that you know better what Ethical Fashion is all about, you may want to know what are the disadvantages of this fashion movement, if there are any (Chances are, if you are reading this article there may be a few). You see, not everything in this life is perfect, you may say nothing at all is, so even this seemingly perfect Ethical Fashion movement has its own flaws. Having said this, here are the biggest cons or disadvantages of the Ethical Fashion industry:
- High Price, is one of the biggest disadvantages of Ethical Fashion because it treats all of its workers humanely and respects fair trade, its garments are more expensive to make than those of Fast Fashion, which outsources its costs to the environment and our society. This higher price is usually just called the fair price of the garment, that is because it is the real price that the garment should cost without exploiting its workers and destroying our environment, which is also a very big economic cost for our society and therefore our pockets either way (taking strictly in consideration the money we pay for the garment).
- Greenwashing, or should we say ethicalwashing? This is the practice where big corporations try to hide their environmentally and socially destructive practices as „green” and „ethical”, like Zara saying that they are making enormous changes to help reduce their footprint on the planet when there is no proof of them doing that, or even SHEIN, the ultra-fast fashion brand declaring themselves as ethical as sustainable when they are the complete antipode of that. The solution to this problem is always informing yourself as a customer and reading about Ethical Fashion instead of letting big corporations treat you like you have no brain.
- This is a relatively young and small industry, Ethical Fashion is a small industry with a small audience and demand, sadly, which means not a lot of businesses are trying to produce ethical fashion garments with respect for the environment and the workers. Not only that, but this lack of demand and economic activity also means that the few businesses that actually offer ethical fashion garments are not productive enough to produce items at a much more affordable price than they would if these garments would be more demanded. In simple terms, the industry still has to wait to become more profitable and affordable for its customers (Kind of like electric cars 20 years ago).
These are a few of the disadvantages of Ethical Fashion, as you may see, this industry does have some flaws, although it is no where near Fast Fashion, and industry that is basically all flaws since the beginning. However, most of these cons can be corrected, and they will surely be as the Ethical Fashion industry progresses.
the best pros and positive points of ethical fashion
We have seen the cons, now it is time to see the pros of the Ethical Fashion industry, which are overwhelmingly superior to the flaws it has, as from the beginning it was born to solve the problems if the fashion insustry that was exploiting their workers, as we saw before. Having said this, here are the best pros or perks of the Ethical Fashion industry:
- It strongly opposes the explotation of workers, Ethical Fashion was born to produce garments that are ethical, as it name implies, which means that the workers that creates them have to be treated humanely, with a decent livable wage and good working conditions. Opposing Fast Fashion and the terrible working conditions it has for its workers, which sometimes reach modern slavery conditions just to produce cheap low-quality garments its customers can constantly devour.
- Fights for a sustainable fashion industry, Ethical Fashion also wants to achieve a sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion industry that cares for our planet and environment, and therefore future generations that will come. It does this promoting garments that are made with sustainable, non-polluting materials and production processes, such as organic ring-spun cotton or hemp. This is where Sustainable Fashion comes into play, a homologue of Ethical Fashion in the fight for a sustainable fashion industry.
- It promotes small businesses and creators, this fashion movement also looks for small businesses that care about the environment and its workers, as well as small fashion designers that are in line with its ethical standards. When you buy ethical garments from a small business not only you are supporting the environment and the people who made that garment, but you are also supporting and feeding the small business and the family behind it who risked a lot just to satisfy your necessities. This is also true for small fashion designers, whose art is often stolen by Fast Fashion corporations in a shamless way.
- It’s just the best option, Ethical Fashion and all of its homologues were born for a reason, to change the most destructive industry the world has seen in a long time and offer a better, ethical and sustainable option for customers all over the world. Therefore, it is just as the fashion you already may be buying from the typical fast fashion stores (we hope not) just without literally destroying our planet, the lives of future generations and entire less fortunate countries exploiting their workers.
In conclusion, these are the most remarkable pros of Ethical Fashion, but there are many more to be named. As you have seen, these pros do have a lot more weight compared to the cons, and it is undeniable that the Ethical, Sustainable Fashion option is an infinitely better option than that of Fast Fashion, in practically every aspect.
pros vs cons: is ethical fashion really that great?
As we said earlier, the pros clearly outweigh the cons regarding Ethical Fashion, so it becomes clear why fashion movements that want to achieve sustainability in the fashion industry are so important because they ultimately want to end the big environmental and social footprint the industry has. It is rather a necessity, because if Fast Fashion continues to grow and prosper the world as we know it may end, suffering permanent damages that we will regret as species for the rest of our existence.
Ethical Fashion as you may know focuses a lot more on the humane treatment of workers and agents involved in the production process, but there is a lot more to that. Promoting fair trade and the creation of new small businesses aims to develop those countries that are still, unfortunately, suffering from poverty. This does not only affect the lives of millions of people worldwide but will ultimately affect all of us, even from the richest countries on earth.
That is because the existence of countries that are economically underdeveloped negatively affects the entire world, because of the opportunity costs that we have if those countries were developed and contributing to the development of humanity as a whole, that is why it is harder to become a rich country if you are surrounded by poorer countries and vice versa.
Not only that, poorer countries have fewer resources to care about and resolve things like their environmental footprint and pollution, which affects all of us, and not only that, the entire planet earth and its ecosystem.
So at the end of the day, Ethical Fashion is a crucial part of achieving sustainability in the fashion industry and saving our planet and species from inevitable doom, which is, unfortunately, closer and closer as Fast Fashion grows uncontrollably. That is why Ethical Fashion is so important, for the sake of our planet and humanity, and it should always be complimented by Slow Fashion and Sustainable Fashion. Anyways, if you want to know more about the importance of this fashion movement, feel free to check this article out.
We hope you have learned a lot from this article, and some of the cons of Ethical Fashion, because even movements as world-changing as these do have some flaws that could be changed for the better. Either way, no it is time to put this information into good practice, and one of the best ways to do it is to keep informing yourself as a customer on the subject, as we always say, the only way to combat Fast Fashion and its terrible consequences on our world is to spread awareness and learn more and more.
We are thrilled to teach people all around the world 🙂 Also, did you really know what Fast Fashion really is and its terrible consequences for the environment, the planet, the workers, society, and the economy? Do you know exactly what the Slow Fashion or Sustainable Fashion movement is? You should really take a look at these articles about this forgotten and unknown but very urgent and important subject, click here to read „Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable?”, Sustainable Fashion, Slow Fashion or Fast Fashion 101 | How It’s Destroying Our Planet because knowledge is one of the most powerful strengths you can have, while ignorance is your worst weakness.
We also have a big surprise for you! Because we want to give you the right to know us better, we have prepared a carefully dedicated About Us page where we will tell you who we are, what our mission is, what we do, a closer look at our team, and many more things! Do not miss this opportunity and click here to check it out. Also, we invite you to take a look at our Pinterest, where we will pin everyday sustainable fashion-related content, clothing designs, and other things that you will surely love!