Ethical Fashion

First it was fashion produced from environmentally sustainable materials. Recently I read about air purifying clothes. And now we have what I call “ethical fashion” or, as described in the Wall Street Journal, “good goods”. A series of young online brands are focusing on socially responsible production as in making a commitment to worker safety. As you can imagine, this issue has been brought to the fore with the tragedy at the factory in Bangladesh. Four new companies are leading the charge including Everlane offering clothing and accessories, essentials for men and women that are affordable; Of a Kind working with indie designers on limited edition merchandise; Honest By the brainchild of a Belgian designer, rather avant garde; and  Zady, due to debut this month, offering 40 labels of clothes they describe as “grown up hipster”. How do you know this is the real deal ethical? Everlane shows videos and photos on its website of the factories and production process.  Zady uses icons so shoppers know if something is locally sourced, handmade, made in the US, made from high quality raw materials, and environmentally conscious, among other things. Honest by provides detailed information on everything from the source of each and every material going into the product, to the address and owner of the production facility, cost breakdown and markup, and carbon footprint. Of a Kind co-founder Claire Mazur said the company’s revenues were up 300% in 2012 over the previous year. So it seems there’s definitely a market for this. Let’s hope the ‘big boys’ of retailing catch on.

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