Tuesday, December 4, 2007

fashion ethics

Apparently, the average Aussie household produces almost a tonne of rubbish a year! And if we knew the amount of toxic chemicals that go into producing so many of those products we'd be physically sick I think.

How many of you know that clothing fabrics such as nylon and polyester are made with petroleum-based plastic that is initially melted into a thick, syrupy resin before being spun into fibres?

Every year the world spends over a trillion dollars on clothing! And the majority of it is produced in third world countries that have inefficient processes in their transport facilities and waste management control. Huge amounts of toxic waste pollute and deplete their local water supplies and airways annually.

Also, very little of the trillion plus dollars being spent annually on clothing is currently being transferred to those who need it most. Absurdly low wages, unfair and unsafe conditions for garment workers continue to be a huge problem in countries like China and India.

In fact, the more pressure we as consumers put on the industry to produce more of everything at cheaper prices, the worse the situation becomes for the factory workers. They must work even longer hours, children miss school to keep up with the demands of the factories and rather than an increase in wages that is directly proportional to the longer hours and tighter time frames, workers in places like Bangladesh are getting paid less than they were a decade ago!
Take heart though, there is an upturn in the number of clothing manufacturers and fashion houses joining the trend towards environmental and social sustainability and the on-going trends toward vintage garments, recycled and Eco friendly fabrics continues to thrive.

check out some of these websites and online boutiques for more ethical fashion:
Green Is Black Online Fashion Boutique
Rachel Cassar - Aussie fashion designer using recycled fabrics
Ethical Fashion Forum - for designers/students wishing to be part of the global ethical community
The Conscientious Shopper - blog about ethical alternatives to fashion and shopping

It's nice to know that Bowerbird Vintage can also add some value

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