Have your questions to your favorite brands about supply chains and fabric sourcing been met with blank stares? One New Zealand writer took her questions on the road.
And what are your thoughts on wearing roadkill? No, seriously.
Let’s talk about what’s going on in the world of ethical fashion this week.
An Ethical Shopping Experiment in New Zealand
New Zealand Herald writer Adrienne Kohler walked into a dozen Aukland shops and asked about their supply chains—where did their fabrics come from and who made their clothes. In all but two stores, she was met with blank stares and, in some cases, resistance. Calls to head offices and visits to corporate websites turned up the same lack of information. Two years after Rana Plaza and just months after a smaller, though similar, tragedy at a shoe factory fire in the Phillipines, Kohler wanted to do something. In her journey, she’s found Baptist World Aid, an organization that produces a global ethical fashion report. She also found the book To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World? and the documentary, True Cost (both by the same writer). She ends her article with a list of points to follow if you want to be an ethical shopper and includes ones you don't often see discussed (e.g. Be wary of "greenwashing" - brands that use deceptive green marketing, eg, organic cotton T-shirts made in sweatshops.).
But the thing that sticks with us is this: if the shop owners and corporate headquarters of these companies don’t know where their fabrics are coming form or who has made their clothes, what hope to consumers have of being informed shoppers?
Check out our Fair Trace Tool™ and know that we are proud of where our clothing comes from and how it is made.
From Roadkill to Ethical Fashion
Approaches to ethical and sustainable fashion come from all places and take all kinds of different shapes. While roadkill isn’t of particular interest to us here, this article about Pamela Paquin, founder of Petite Mort Fur, caught our eye. Paquin coordinates with the Highway Department and animal control near her Boston home and makes high end products using the fur from deceased animals left on the side of the road that she then sells on Etsy. Whether roadkill fur is your fancy or not, the message we’re taking from this story is that paths to ethical and sustainable clothing are everywhere and the possibilities are endless.
Written by Tricia Mirchandani. Tricia is a mother of two, a freelance writer and the blogger behind Raising Humans. Her words have appeared on the Huffington Post, Washington Post, SheKnows, and in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine. She tells stories because sharing words can make the world a better place.