Cassandra Burrell is a sustainability advocate and designer of Cassandra Elizabeth, a responsible fashion brand based in Toronto, Canada
Let’s talk ethics, or in this case, your moral principles when it comes to fashion. Do you ever stop to consider how much pollution your wardrobe has caused or who made your clothing and where? It’s a lot to think about and quite honestly with all the fast fashion powerhouses feeding the public with misleading information, it’s also discouraging. I’m here to break it down for you and let you know that if you are considering switching to a responsible way of shopping, it is possible and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
There are multiple boxes to check when shopping for sustainable fashion. Many consumers are asking is this “good” or “bad” however, there are degrees to sustainability, and the best we can do is check off as many boxes as possible. Here are some questions you can ask when shopping at your favourite stores.
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“Where was this made?”
“What are the working conditions of the factory this was made in?”
“Where does this fabric come from?”
“What is the environmental impact of your fabric?”
“How is the fabric dyed?”
“Do you know who is involved in every part of the supply chain?”
“What do you do with the garments that don’t sell or are returned or damaged?
A truly ethical brand will not only have these answers, but they will be happy to share them with full transparency. It is nice to see large corporations using words like conscious or eco friendly, but when it comes down to it, the lack of clarity on exactly how they are sustainable is a misleading picture of what ethical fashion really is.
Thankfully there are organizations such as Fashion Revolution campaigning for a transparent and accountable fashion industry. At the moment there is a lack of laws that govern what information is legally required to be public, so these organizations calling for transparency are crucial. Another resource available to use while shopping is the Good On You app, which gives consumers the power to quickly and easily check the impact of their favourite brands by giving them an Individual sustainability rating.
The most we can do is educate ourselves. If we have the knowledge to make informed decisions and know which questions to ask, brands will have no choice but to make the changes necessary for a sustainable future.
By Cassandra Burrell
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