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  • Writer's pictureMary Russell


The article that I read and decided to write about is called “A Brief History of Ethical and Sustainable Fashion.” This article was written in April of 2019. It talks about the rise of sustainable fashion and how it came to be such a thing. Based on this article, I think that the environmental movement of sustainability will severely impact the textile industry. In the article, it talks about the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh tragedy that exposed the harmful way that factories were run. They were harmful to the people working in them and also to the materials that they were using. In the Rana Plaza accident, thousands of workers were killed and it has brought awareness to the ethical and sustainable needs of the textile industry.

Since the tragedy, the rise of sustainable fashion has become more and more normal or “mainstream.” To re-wear outfits, recycle clothing, and to buy from thrift stores have stared to be something that is very common. The UN in 1987 defined sustainability as, “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs.” The article says that there is a difference in sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, and fast fashion.

Sustainable Fashion is what we think of as “environmentally friendly” fashion. This goes for the designing, the manufacturing, and the consuming of clothing. To have sustainable fashion also means to prolong the life of the clothing that we are buying and not just never wearing it and keeping it in our closet after one wear. You could sell it, re-wear it, or donate it to be able to extend its life if you do not plan on wearing it again. Another way to have sustainable fashion is to recycle the materials that were used to make the garment so that it can be used to create a new garment.

Ethical Fashion “focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry: ethical literally means “morally right.”This includes the working area where the clothes are manufactured and produced. Wages, condition, and safety are some of the examples that are what ethical fashion is about for humans. Ethical Fashion can also include cruelty free, vegan and fair treatment to the animals used to make the items.

FaSt Fashion is what has been in the rise in the past few years. It is produced very quick and cheap so that the companies can stay up to date with its competitors. Popular brands in the fast fashion scene are Zara and TopShop. Due to their cheap prices, they are easily over produced, causing tons of excess waste. Because of the fast fashion changing constantly, users are not getting as much wear out of their items and are buying the next new trend. This causes these companies to be not sustainable due to overproduction and waste, and not ethical due to terrible working environments to be able to get the clothing out as cheaply as possible and bad environmental effects.

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