Ethical Fashion is a Design Philosophy
Although not on the same scale as energy production or exploiting natural resources, the fashion industry is still one of the most damaging to the planet. Fortunately, there is a revolution growing. It started with small independent designers, but now even the largest fashion houses are looking for ways to reduce their global footprint. The ethical fashion movement is a design philosophy based on minimizing the impact of the fashion industry on the planet, the animals, and the people who live on it.
There are four main considerations to ethical fashion design:
- The impact on animals
- The impact on the environment
- The impact on people
- The impact on local customs and traditions
It’s not always easy to balance these against each other. Supporting cruelty-free products often means embracing alternatives that are, in some cases, worse for the environment. More environmentally friendly options like pure cotton often involve higher levels of labor exploitation. Tribal societies around the world rely on subsistence hunting and handmade clothing using animal skins or other animal by-products. Often it comes down to personal choice as to which you find most important to emphasize and protect.
Here at Llynda More Boots we have a long standing commitment to protecting animals. We make all of our boots with vegan leather and we are optimistic about emerging technologies that will make it possible to use even more sustainable materials in the future. Great strides are being made in cork leather, stone leather, and alternatives made from apple fibers and other renewable resources. Today ethical designers are using them to make things like wallets, watchbands, and handbags. For now these alternatives lack the durability needed for a pair of boots and remain prohibitively expensive for larger products.
It’s All About Balance
How to incorporate ethical fashion into your wardrobe is a question of personal balance. Whether you’re more concerned with animal rights, the effect on the environment, or the exploitation of workers overseas, you can take concrete steps to bring your own life into better balance with the world we live in. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help make your decisions as a consumer. Is this something I want or something I need? Is it enough to only buy products that match my personal values or do I want to support companies that carry that philosophy through every product they sell? Am I more concerned with one type of impact on the planet or do I want to balance my decisions across all of the various types of effects?
When it comes to clothing, most manufacturers today are offering some form of ethical fashion. The larger designers offer it as an alternative, but there are plenty of smaller boutique companies that are focused exclusively on minimizing their impact on the planet. We’ve never had a broader set of options to choose from. Thanks to the growing demand for cruelty-free fashion it is easier than ever to balance cost and convenience.