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.