Your New Year’s Resolution – Invest In Eco Fashion

Every year billions of tons of harmful chemicals are pumped into the atmosphere during the harvesting and manufacture of consumer goods. Western cultures are the biggest polluters because we have created a culture of immediacy and every industry from technology to fashion is constantly reinventing itself. You can take a huge bite out of that by buying eco fashion items.

Eco fashion is, just what it sounds like, fashion items that are eco friendly. Eco fashion items tend to use more natural raw materials and are often manufactured either by hand or on basic machinery in small batches.

In fact, many such producers of eco friendly fashion outsource to or source products from small artisan communities. These artisans take materials that are readily available and using time honored traditions and basic machines such as personal sewing machines turn them into beautiful eco friendly fashion pieces that can’t be distinguished from factory made.

Eco friendly fashion of this sort is not only great for the environment (and your closet) but for the artisans as well. They receive compensation for their time and skills and which provides for their families. In the West, that not may sound exciting to us but many of these artisans are living in what are somewhat unfairly referred to as third world countries where even pennies a day can make a life or death difference.
Take that sentiment to the extreme and you’ve got Fair Trade fashion. Fair Trade fashion defined is fashion accessories and clothing that have earned Fair Trade certification. These products are guaranteed by international organizations to be produced in a humane manner.

That means that the producers of these Fair Trade fashion items get paid more than producers in the same region who sell their finished goods to other buyers. Fair Trade fashion wholesalers and retailers alike agree to abide by a set of strict regulations designed to protect the human rights of the people producing these finished products.

So instead of simply buying a sweater or handbag, you’re actually investing in the very lives and livelihoods of people half a world away. You can (and should) choose where your money goes and doesn’t it make more sense to buy from somebody you know is giving their producers a fair share of the profits? Remember, even pennies a day can be a life or death situation for these folks and if they’re getting paid 30% more to sell to one buyer than another that’s a huge difference.

Fair Trade Fashion – The Ultimate Guide

The days when fair trade fashion meant tie-dyed pantaloons and ill-fitting ethnic smocks are long gone. Top designers are now working with new ethical fashion labels to create clothes and accessories that are desirable, not just because they’re associated with a good cause, but because they’re stylish and beautiful.

So what makes fair trade fashion fair? Here is a quick summary of the 5 things to look out for:

1. There are a number of fair trade certification bodies that you should look out for when you’re browsing for fair trade products. A good one is the World Fair Trade Organisation, while in the UK, the British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS) is another standards organisation. These organisations help customers know that the products they’re buying are genuinely ethical.

2. Where are the products made? And under what conditions? Do you really want to buy from companies that outsource their production to sweatshop manufacturers with poor conditions and low wages for their workers? Fair trade or ethical fashion companies will be happy to explain where and how their products are made. Rembember: transparency and fair trade go hand in hand.

3. What materials are being used? Fair trade and environmental sustainability are different concepts, though in practice fair trade fashion companies will also engage in eco-friendly sourcing practices. So look out for organic cotton, recycled items and other ‘green’ materials.

4. Fair trade fashion isn’t just confined to the margins of the fashion world. Many mainstream shops have fair trade concessions, and there are now ethical and eco-friendly fashion labels showcased on the catwalk at all the major fashion shows.

5. Price. Ethical fashion is no longer the preserve of the wealthy, with increasingly affordable products available as the movement becomes more mainstream. However, fast fashion goods like T-Shirts for £2.99 are not a realistic price. Someone somewhere will be paying the true cost of that T-Shirt – most likely in a miserable wage and poor conditions. According to the NGO ActionAid, if the retail price of a £6 dress was increased by just 10p it would be enough to double the wages of the factory worker in Sri Lanka who produced it. Ethical fashion can make a real difference.

You might think the global economic downturn could impact on customers’ appetites for fair trade fashion. But according to the Cooperative Bank’s Ethical Consumer report, sales of fair trade and organic clothing grew by 70% to £52m in 2007, and this year is scheduled to see still further growth.

And consider this: in 2007 a survey by TNS Global found that 60% of under-25s said they bought what they wanted, regardless of where or how it had been made. This year that figure had dropped to 36%, suggesting that child labour and sweatshop scandals have made their mark.

The future’s great for ethical consumers and suppliers.

Fair Trade High Fashion

We know fair trade when we shop for food from chocolate to coffee fair trade is now more often to see in the shelves. Sharing profit and NOT to squeeze each cent out of farmers is the thought behind it. So is there a fair trade movement in the fashion industry, where high fashion requires a large part of manual work?

My research shows that there is quiet a movement that has people involved that find a solution to apply skills of local women and men, to wrap fashion conscious women, men, boys and girls in beautiful clothing.

It is an ethical dilemma for many fashion designers: how do they know that their designs are being made under fair labor conditions, when they outsource the production and not subcontracted to other factories that may not meet these standards? To find a solution demands personal engagement and an idealistic stand point.

Organizations are active that are dedicated to improve the lives of these local people, providing jobs, training, health care and accommodation and here with the base of existence.

They take on biggest challenges to train people to understand and deal with the concept of delivery deadlines and international quality standards.
Designing gorgeous designer kids clothes, and complete children seasonal collections, found a market from Australia to the Europe and U.S. The classical look, wonderful colors and immaculate tailoring of exclusive women clothes and stylish men shirts is available for those that do not want to participate in exploiting the tailors in 3rd World Countries but consciously decide that their work entitles them to earn a family’s living and make sure that those people can live from their hands work.

The original reasons for the fair trade fashion is to provide more jobs and ensuring that skills and artisanry does not get lost, which is often locally practiced as a specific style of stitch-work and embroideries. In most cases these will be replaced with solely machine fabricated clothing if fair trade fashion would not exist and finally get lost.

Selling online and present in stores in Australia, USA, Europe and Asia, the fair trade high fashion is for everybody with a conscious and open mind. Wearing exclusive clothing, based on limited edition fabric and knowing that you have contributed to sustain those that made it, will contribute to your feel good factor and you and your kids will look stunning!