In today's modern world, a greater number of consumers are becoming aware of the moral and ethical issues that are intrinsic to the healthy functioning of society. Therefore, with this in mind, there is likely to be an increasing drive from consumers and brands towards ethical consumption and sustainable fashion.
What is ethical consumption in fashion?
Ethical consumption is an ethos centred on buying and selling products that have been produced in a manner that has not harmed the environment, society or those who were responsible for the production process. It can involve sourcing natural materials that were harvested without damaging the environment, avoiding clothing that has been produced through the exploitation of the workforce and being aware of exactly where your products have come from.
Why is sustainable sourcing important?
One of the most important factors in ethical sourcing is minimising damage to the environment. This can be achieved with the way that the materials used in fabrics are harvested and the subsequent production process. For a long time, many big brands have tried to drive down costs by cutting corners when it comes to sourcing.
However, with climate change and global warming currently at the forefront of public consciousness, many more consumers are realising the importance of ensuring that their clothing is not significantly impacting their carbon footprint. When consumers choose to buy from an affordable sustainable brand, they are essentially doing their part to be eco-friendly. When multiple consumers adopt this ethical behaviour, it all adds up.
Consumers have a fundamental influence on dictating how brands behave. In short, consumers hold the purse strings because they vote with their feet and their wallets regarding which brands they choose to use. When consumers make the commitment to embrace affordable sustainable fashion, it is likely that more brands will integrate this ethos with their own sourcing habits. Brands that do not transition to more ethical methods of sourcing will be left behind as customers simply will not shop with them. What is more, when you choose to adopt a sustainable mindset, you will also influence other consumers to embrace ethically sourced materials.
How can brands incorporate ethics into their purchasing processes?
While a lot of the responsibility for ensuring that ethical and sustainable fashion becomes the norm within our shops, brands must hold some level of accountability too. A level of transparency is necessary within the production process to allow consumers to be educated enough to opt for sustainable fashion and this transparency originates from the producers and sellers of fashion.
Furthermore, brands can commit to an ethos that values sustainable production of their clothes, meaning that they will not sell fashion that has been made in an environmentally unfriendly way or has used sweatshops to produce it. In doing this, a symbiosis can develop between businesses and consumers. A drive towards a more ethical world must garner support from all sides in order to succeed.
However, one of the main stumbling blocks in the drive towards ethical consumption is likely to be the cost. With economic concerns haunting a substantial proportion of the population, many consumers hunt for clothes at rock bottom prices. This is at odds with ethical consumption because the raw truth is that it costs more to produce clothes in an ethical way. Ensuring that the environment is not harmed and that workers are paid a living wage can be more expensive than some unethical methods that have been commonly employed in the production process. Consequently, both brands and consumers are faced with a conundrum. Is price or ethics more important?
What does the future hold for ethical consumption?
Sustainable fashion is likely to be an integral part of the future for how consumers make choices about what to wear. As more people become aware of what is really at stake, this will dictate just how designers, producers and consumers view their clothing. With brands like Sika'a at the forefront of the revolution that is driving the move towards a more sustainable fashion world, the situation seems very positive.
How is Sika'a committed to sustainable fashion?
At Sika'a, African clothing is created by African designers from African textiles using an ethical manufacturing process. The fashion that we lovingly craft is authentic and sourced by ethical means. Hence, we are ensuring that our values are reflected in the way we operate as a brand.
To view our range of beautiful African fashion made with stunning and unique African fabrics, please visit us at Sika'a.
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