Mood rings, pigtails, mullets, coloured hair spray; there's no denying we go through weird and diverse fashion fads in our society. Fads are short lived, collective behaviours and decisions, that leave our cupboards filled with junk and our Facebook feeds cluttered with photos we wish never existed.
The latest fad in fashion: ethical fashion. Buying organic cotton tees, fair trade jewellery, and upcycled dresses, often without knowing what these terms mean, has become 'cool'. Celebrities are rocking 'green' outfits on the red carpet, and magazines are flooded with where to find your next eco-outfit. Second hand stores are making a comeback, clothing swaps are back in action, and when you say the word 'ethical fashion', you gain street cred, rather than the title of raging hippy.
Whilst it's great to see ethical fashion taking off, is it about to plummet just like mood rings did after the 1970s? Will it disappear like the fluro of the 90s?
Is ethical fashion just a fad?
We don't think so.
Ethical fashion includes the respect and fair treatment of everyone involved in the process of making a garment. From the individuals who harvest the cotton, to the shippers who transport the clothes to brick and mortar stores, ethical fashion brands make sure that everyone in the supply chain is treated fairly.
With this in mind, consumers feel even better in their clothes. 'Made with love' pulls on the heartstrings of consumers, and encourages them to make the swap from fast fashion to ethical fashion. Fashion that comforts your conscience, and rids you of guilt, is not something anyone would want to give up in a hurry.
The materials and processes involved in producing ethical fashion, are designed with the planet in mind. Chemical free dyes, organic cotton farms, and recycled wood based materials are a few examples. The rise in awareness of our planet's finite resources, points towards growth in sustainable practices, and therefore, ethical fashion. As our population grows, and our negative impact on the planet becomes more obvious, we're making conscious decisions to lower this impact.
If ethical fashion was just a fad, we'd soon ignore the impact of the fashion industry on our planet. The facts are simply too big for us to forget, and our planet is too cherished for consumers to stop caring altogether.
Fads come and go when our attention spans come to an end, something new comes out in stores, and we get bored. Ethical fashion is always evolving and changing, new inventions inside of ethical fashion are popping up every week, and becoming bored appears out of the question.
Every single one of us participates in the fashion industry, usually from the very day we are born. Fashion reflects our society, and is a crucial part of identifying as a culture, and an individual. The truth about the impact of the fashion industry on our planet and people, is so prevalent today, that it cannot be side-stepped or forgotten in our daily choices. If we want to keep existing on planet earth, we simply have no choice but to stick to ethical fashion.
Fashion may look like a fad in some circles, and perhaps for some people; it is. There will definitely be highs and lows, troughs and peaks, but ultimately, ethical fashion is here to stay. The world has woken up to the fact we can no longer treat people and the planet the way that we do, for the sake of fashion.
Ethical fashion is not a fad. Hopefully one day, it will simply be: fashion.
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