Do you know that what fashion pieces you buy and where you buy them could heal the environment and help lift people from poverty? Maria Andretta, founder of Wyohflowers, is passionate about ethical fashion and shares why it is important.
What is ethical fashion anyway? And, why should an ordinary women care about jumping onto the bandwagon of the ethical fashion revolution?
To answer these questions let us look at the way clothing was mass-produced in factories for the big fashion brands. Where were they mostly made? Who do you think made them? It is no secret. Most fashion items were made in factories in China, or in Cambodia, or some other third world countries. To ensure a large profit margin, most of the fashion clothing sold were produced in an unethical manner. Workers were paid very low wages. They lived and worked in substandard conditions. Hence, factories like these earned the moniker, sweatshops. What’s more, the clothes were made from unsustainable fabrics like polyester (a petroleum by-product), acrylic, or nylon. To get those beautifully colored tops or jeans, these factories used dyeing practices that released chlorine, chromium, and other pollutants into the environment. These pollutants pose health risks to the farmers, assemblers, and consumers. In case you are not aware, 7 of the top 15 pesticides for non-organic crops used for fabric production are known to be cancerous.
In short, the way fashion is made, where it is obtained, and how it is used is harming people and the environment. And we, ordinary women, the buyers of these items, need to be aware that we have the power to create a change. With our purchasing power, we can change the way fashion is made. We can change the world.
What is Ethical Fashion?
Ethical fashion refers to fashion items produced in a manner that respects and uplifts the dignity of persons-- the worker or artisan, starting from the labor employed, the processes and materials used up to the end usage of the fashion pieces.
Far from exploiting the rights of workers, ethical fashion helps independent artisans earn a decent living through dignified work. Instead of simply asking for donations, marginalized groups such as abused women and children, persons with disabilities, and the poorest of the poor, are helped from the sale of their quality-made products. Simply put, ethical fashion provides workers with good working conditions and pays them fair humane wages. Many of the fashion pieces that are handmade by artisans and marketed using fair trade principles or distributed by social enterprises such as Wyohflowers fall under this category.
Moreover, ethical fashion respects cultural diversity. Many indigenous communities produce crafts that that are truly distinct and unique to their culture. By promoting their rare craftsmanship and paying a decent price for their goods, ethical fashion helps to preserve indigenous cultures. Examples of these fashion pieces are the handwoven fabrics such as the T’nalak of the Tiboli tribe in southern Philippines.
Ethical fashion also respects the consumers or end-users of the fashion pieces. Ethical fashion uses healthy, sustainable fabrics and biodegradable materials (like organic cotton, hemp, bamboo) reclaimed, recycled or upcycled materials, and low-impact fiber-reactive dyes as well as vegetable dyes. Through ethical fashion, the environment is conserved for future generations to enjoy the goodness of this earth. Upcycled fashion pieces such as recrafted fashion items from fabric scraps or preloved clothing are examples of this ethical fashion line. Interesting brass jewelries made out of melted metal scraps are ingenious ethical fashion pieces that help conserve the environment.
In sum, ethical fashion supports manufacturers in conserving a healthy environment while it respects the maker and the dignity and health of the consumer and society.
At Wyohflowers Ethical Fashion Boutique, you have the opportunity to use your buying power to embrace and wear ethical fashion every day. By purchasing our fashion items, you can help reduce our environmental footprints while increasing our social impact.
Choose from our carefully vetted ethical fashion pieces and change the world.