Total ethical spending in the UK is now worth £54billion (2016) and represents around 7% of all UK consumer spending, which is more than we spend on cigarettes and alcohol, combined. The value of overall ethical sales grew by 8 %to £38billion in 2015, during a period when inflation barely rose above 0.5 %, according to the new Ethical Consumer Markets report.
It is becoming obvious why the Ancients saw Pandora with hope whilst all the ills of the world were released around her, hope is the winged possibility needed for us to think outside the box to solve our problems. It's the reminder that we are divine and we've already got what we need to solve our problems when we think creatively (not realistically).
Items distributed from the East use ships, lorries, airplanes, or a combination of all three during the transportation process, all of which require fossil fuels; dyes run into rivers and destroy plant and aquatic life; and when many garments hit the shelves the origins are often completely unknown.
While more and more general consumers are starting to take the implications of carbon emissions seriously, the fashion industry is lagging behind. Green and fair trade designers utilising domestic talent and sustainable technology may be gaining traction among small niches; however, the majority of large scale fashion houses still source cheap labour from overseas and use unethical manufacturing processes.
Transitioning to Slow Fashion from Fast Fashion is a different experience depending on your current shopping habits. For many of us, it can come as a rather shocking moment- a moment where we realise that our relationship with our clothes has been diminished to a two month magic line where the pieces transform from chic to let's be frank, not so chic.
Moving towards this lifestyle isn't easy and changing the way people consume fashion is a behavior that has been set for years. People can't get discouraged and need to remember that every small step they take is making an impact. So, here are some simple ways to incorporate recycling, reusing, and repurposing into your lifestyle.
I want to be proud of what I represent (clothes are your mirror, a part of your personality), and I want to be sure I am not supporting slavery. I don't want my cheap fashion to be someone else's worst nightmare.
I wanted to test my creativity. To see what would happen when I get truly, truly bored of wearing the same things, day after day. To see how many times it is possible to patch the knees on a pair of jeans. To see if I can learn to love the clothes I already have.
So workers are suffering because of low wages and dangerous working conditions, consumers are suffering thanks to poor quality clothing that doesn't last and the environment is suffering due to the overproduction of clothes and a complete lack of regard for sustainability. The clothes may be cheap but we are all paying for them one way or another.