We all know that every choice we make in life has an effect on the environment and society in some way. Surprisingly, one of the most problematic industries is one of the least concerns of consumers in this day – the clothing industry. From the choices of clothing products we buy, to how we wash and dispose of these products, these decisions all have a major impact of the environment. So what can we do? The answer is to buy fair trade, ethical & sustainable clothing options. This will not only have benefits for the environment but also for you. So, here are the top 10 benefits of fair trade clothing…
1. Fair trade clothing decreases your fashion footprint
You may have not even thought of your fashion footprint or even known of any such thing. However, unfortunately it does exist and we all have to take responsibility of our own. The good news is that ethical, fair trade clothing highly decreases your environmental footprint due to the sustainable procedures that are used. While a typical t-shirt from the mainstream textile industry utilises highly dangerous pesticides and chemicals, organically produced clothing does not. Organic cotton is pesticide and chemical free which, in turn, has no negative impact on the environment.
2. You will be saving workers in the clothing industry from disease
So, you may not be surprised that the environment is impacted by the fashion industry, with so many people in the world and limited supply of resources. However, the impact doesn’t stop at the environment, as the procedures within the textile industry also have an impact on every individual who works within it. How? Due to the demand in cotton, some of the strongest pesticides are used in their production to minimise wastage. However, these pesticides can be just as harmful to human beings as they are to nature. It is common for pesticides to contaminate hair and skin of workers in the industry and these pesticides, containing water and soil, can cause cancer and other diseases. By purchasing organic clothing, you will be helping these workers move towards a workplace free of these risks.
3. Fair trade clothing helps you connect with new, like-minded people
When you open your eyes to the issues of the textile industry and choose to buy organic, ethically produced clothing, you will be surprised of the lifestyle changes that come along with it! By purchasing ethical clothing, you will open yourself up to like-minded people as well.
4. You will join a community and even make new friends
As more and more people become aware of the issues in the mainstream textile industry and convert to fair trade clothing, the community within it grows. You may even find yourself meeting someone who also buys ethically made clothing and starting conversation around it. Having friends who are moving towards a positive change in society is a huge benefit to your life.
5. Fair trade clothing is a daily reminder of our contribution to society
There are many psychological benefits to doing anything that gives back to society, and buying fair trade clothing is no exception. In fact, its one that you will be reminded of daily when you pop on your ethically produced garment. Its the small things we do in life that really make a difference.
6. You will be saving animals
Recently, more and more microplastics have been found on beaches and natural habitats of many animals in the environment. These tiny particles of plastic are found in synthetic clothing and are released during both the manufacturing process and when we wash our clothes at home. Unfortunately, we are oblivious to the fact that they end up in oceans and become a risk to animals as they unknowingly ingest them.
7. Fair trade clothing is higher quality than regular clothing
Due to lack of pesticides and other harsh chemicals in organically produced cotton, your fair trade clothing is guaranteed to be higher quality than mainstream brands. This is one thing to consider if the price tag on a fair trade clothing product scares you off, as the quality of the product means it has a much higher chance of lasting for longer. Quality over quantity is best!
8. You will not be contributing to labour exploitation
Many brands in the fashion industry are competing with each other to sell quality clothing for less and less. Due to this competition, workers in the clothing industry are becoming more exploited than ever before. Millions of workers farm, process materials and sew clothing in sweatshop conditions. Modern-day slavery unfortunately does still exist in many countries and it is our responsibility as consumers to not contribute to this exploitation. Many workers are paid less than $2 per day (yes you read correctly) which is just beyond inhumane. However, these workers do not have a choice in many situations it is their only choice of work to feed their families, and we as consumers are their only hope to protest against this.
9. You will be protesting against child labour
Yep, you guessed it. Child labour is also involved, just like in many other corrupted industries. This has been one of the most well-known facts about the textile industry, however, the sad thing is it still exists! Why are we as consumers not choosing to fight against this? Well, when choosing fair trade clothing options you can be rest assured that you are not contributing to this horrible exploitation of child labour – one step at a time.
10. You will be as fashionable as before – if not more
Due to all the issues above, many designers have jumped on board to make a change. The styles of the fair trade brands are even more fashionable than your every day brand. The styles are unique, yet comfortable and practical for everyday life. So you can make a change in the world, while not sacrificing style and comfort!
After reading this top 10 facts about Fair Trade Clothing, tell us what drives your purchasing choices and what’s still keeping you away from making a more conscious decision.