What is Ethical Fashion?
Photo by ROCKETMANN TEAM
Each year, 100 billion garments are produced as well as 92 million tonnes of textile waste. This means an entire garbage truck full of clothing ends up in landfills every second. While it is addicting to purchase cheap, trendy clothing from retailers like Shein, affordability, and convenience come at a steep price for our planet.
Ethical fashion is an evolving concept that focuses on designing, producing, and distributing garments while reducing harm to humans as well as the planet. Its goal is not just to produce clothing but to prioritize sustainable and ethical practices across the entire supply chain, rather than maximizing company profits. This also includes treating all workers fairly, paying liveable wages, and creating safe working conditions for everyone from the designers, manufacturers, and distributors, amongst others. It also takes into consideration the animals that produce clothing materials and the environmental impact of creating the garments.
For consumers, navigating the cluttered space of retail ethics can be confusing and leave them vulnerable to greenwashing, when a brand misleads consumers into believing it is more sustainable than it is. WWD found that in 2020 consumers spent more than 7 billion hours online searching for information on “sustainable,” “ethical,” “fair trade,” and “eco-friendly” items. We recommend consumers seek out brands that are transparent, readily providing information on where the clothing is made, who makes them, and using what materials. If the information is hard to find, that’s likely because the retailer doesn’t want customers to find it.
How can you be an ethical consumer? Ethics are deeply personal and unique to each consumer. Consumers have to decide what their ethics are and then invest their money only in brands that align with their moral compass. For some consumers, ethical consumption may look like renting garments, buying secondhand, wearing vegan clothing, supporting minority and female-owned businesses, shopping locally, wearing recycled materials, and more. Once you’ve reflected on your definition of ethical consumption, it will be much easier to find brands that support your vision, and you will be less tempted by seductive fast fashion.
At Wo-mum, we define ourselves as an ethical fashion brand due to our European-made, sustainable, zero-waste approach, and eco-responsible manufacturing methods. We are deeply invested in our customers, our products, their production, and their impact on the environment.
From the beginning, Wo-mum garments are designed by mums and local designers working together to envision timeless, fashionable styles. Our pieces are made from sustainable textiles in European workshops in order to reduce our carbon footprint and support local economies. During production, we also focus on saving water and reducing energy as well as chemical consumption. After the garments are made, we offer our customers the opportunity to rent for 6 months or buy one of our long-lasting styles. When the clothing can no longer be rented, we donate them to thrift stores tailored for maternity wear and ask our customers to do the same.
Wo-mum was created by mums. We think ethical maternity wear is especially important because the pregnancy and nursing periods are a short period of time in a woman’s life, making mums especially susceptible to fast fashion. It can be a difficult decision to invest money in maternity wear which is why we developed clothing that can be worn during pregnancy, while nursing, and beyond. Mums are creating the next generations which is why we think they make the best eco-warriors. Together, let’s protect and improve the planet for our families.