| SUSTAINABLE FASHION – AN INTRODUCTION
“Sometimes a people-over-profit mindset begins as product-over-profit thinking.” – Dale Partridge, People Over Profit
Many people often ask me what sustainable fashion is.
o Is sustainable fashion like fair trade?
o How can fashion actually help people?
Fashion is something that has always existed and will always exist. It’s is ever changing yet always consistent because fashion is synonymous with current events. Even in a modern day dystopian society like in the novel, A Handmaid’s Tale, there was still an element of fashion displayed within their color schemes and types of garments despite the atrocities that were happening. The wives of the commanders wore green/blue 50’s style A-line dresses to represent their conservatism and the Virgin Mary while the handmaids wore red, maxi dresses and white bonnets to represent their humility and fertility. This happens all throughout history from the beginning of time.
From a business perspective, if fashion is something that will always be around, then why not invest? The risk factor is reduced and the return on investment is high.
Le probléme: Because fashion in all of its elements (home goods, apparel, accessories, etc.) produce such high profits, human nature mixed with a free market economy encourages the industry to be exploitative. The more money that can be earned after breaking even is the goal. You have to spend money to make money but what expenses are being cut in order to make this profit?
Production costs. In order to create an increase in revenue, a business usually cuts costs in production which includes material costs and labor costs. It’s a known fact that the cheapest labor lies within Asian sweatshops and the cheapest material costs come from China. Look down at your paisley bed-sheets or your favorite cotton/rayon blend jumpsuit. I guarantee that 9 times out of 10, this is what you will see: ‘Made in China’.
La solution is Sustainable Fashion. Sustainable fashion involves the following elements:
Dale Partridge is right. We first need to change our way of thinking. We can take advantage of the free market economy and use it to compete with profit-minded people. Our advantage is that we’re not solely profit-minded; we’re people-centered and product-minded yet we recognize that profit is essential in keeping the people and product parts sustainable. Our main goal is to produce a quality product that will create jobs for marginalized people groups, help our environment in the way we produce these products and the materials we use, and still provide consistent revenue within the company which will in turn, benefit everyone. Sustainable Fashion could be the beginning of a new business norm.
“We Rise by Lifting Others”