It's been awhile since our last blog so let's do a quick recap. A few weeks ago, Heather explained that for something to be “sustainable” it produces a positive outcome for the people, the planet and profits (for the purposes of longevity for the business and overall impact on communities).
In the following blog Heather explained that being an “ethical consumer” means that you needed to understand your own beliefs of what is right and wrong. She also encouraged us to make a priority list of values i.e. when it comes to prioritising people, the planet, animals or where something is sourced, what matters to you the most and how would you prioritise them?
Accordingly, shopping according to your values will affect your purchasing choices.
The challenge then is working out which brands are actually prioritising the things you value from an ethical perspective.
For example, a brand could claim to be “ethical” because they pay their workers well but the items they create are of low quality material which means that they will end up as waste much sooner rather than later and have a negative effect on the planet.
Conversely, a brand could claim to be “sustainable” because it uses recycled or natural materials or no plastic but has unfair practices such as child labour or sweatshop conditions for their workers.
Transparency and truthfulness as to how products are made or the practices kept further down the supply chain is slowly becoming more apparent in the fashion industry however, there is still a long way to go.
There are people who have done the research and produced guides available that help you. Find a blogger or organisation committed to a similar value as you and see if they have resources. One we recommend is The Ethical Fashion guide, they have a criteria that assess common Aussie retail outlets on providing a liveable wage to the people in the products supply chain. You can email us it you would like a free copy.
The brands in the for Dignity collection have been carefully curated to reflect our commitment to ethical and sustainable fashion. We want to make it easier for you as the consumer to make ethical choices that reflect your values.
You can read about the criteria for Dignity uses to select products to put in the online store here: https://www.fordignity.com.au/pages/behind-the-selection-of-producers
Each of the producers that for Dignity works with will prioritise one if not more of the following values:
- Fighting Human Trafficking
- Empowering Workplace Values and Environment (some are “fair trade” recognised – we will share about what this means in a blog post in the future
- Designed by local artisan or crafted by hand
- Sustainable Environmental Practices
As all these values do not apply to every one of our producers, on each product and producer’s pages the icons are present to help you recognise what they represent as you shop. We help you shop with your values.
So now it's your turn. Write a list of your top 5 favourite brands and then find out what they say they doing those areas important to you. If you can't find that information on their website, then it begs the question, are they being transparent? Ask if they are just 'greenwashing', that is using terms like sustainable fashion as one collection fulfils that criteria in their range but you know they are a fast fashion brand. (Remember marketers know it's trendy to be ethical too.)
As we progress in this blog, we are excited to start a series of blog posts that will help you get to know better the different producers that for Dignity work with and continue to discuss the ways we can love our planet and all the people on it.
Amy and Heather