Many designers argue against using the term ethical fashion to describe a label, claiming it keeps the movement marginalised. But for consumers wanting information about a brand it provides useful information and promotes transparency.
As yet another one off article about ethical fashion goes in a glossy women's magazine, you can hear sustainable designers sigh with despair. For although articles in the mainstream media is a good step forward for the ethical fashion scene, it can feel tokenistic. Those involved in ethical fashion don't want this to be a trend or a fad, but a movement. And so there is a growing call for designers to stop isolating themselves by using the term ethical fashion to describe what they do.
But how does this work for consumers looking for more transparency with their brands? If we can't tell who the good guys and the bad guys are, we can't lend our support to the right people.
We need a national labelling system that extends beyond the current legislative minimum, which only includes the country of origin and fabrics used. Labels should include information on the origin of the cotton, how much water was used, and how much workers were paid.
In the absence of this we rely on the good guys telling us they're ethical and explaining why. And then we can turn to other labels, and say: They're providing us with this information, so why aren't you?
If you want to call on more transparency in the fashion industry join the Fashion Mob
Follow Esther Freeman on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@mswandas