If you could advise government policy to set new sustainability standards for the fashion industry, where would you start? What changes are necessary for genuinely sustainable fashion?
The growing millennial consumer group has emphasized the importance of becoming more educated about the origins of products and the industries they come from, and with this newfound enlightenment, companies deservedly feel the pressure to switch to less controversial practices in order to align the company’s values with those of their consumers.
It is a company’s moral responsibility to determine and enforce the ethical standards that they use to market their products or services. It is also a consumer’s right to know where their product came from, how and where it was made, and whether it was tainted by any processes fueled by worker exploitation or irreversible environmental damage.
- Origins of products must be disclosed.
It is absolutely necessary for a company to disclose to consumers where their product came from, how it was made, and the product’s background in terms of ethical and non-ethical practices. Consumers shop with their values, and they deserve to choose which products they want to purchase, and which companies they want to buy from. Transparency is key!
- Eco-friendly options should not be “alternatives”.
There are ways to eliminate problematic methods of manufacturing without sacrificing quality. For example, lab-grown diamonds eliminate potential damage to the Earth that diamond mining would cause and there is no exploitation of citizens of developing countries. They are chemically and physically identical to their mined counterparts, meaning consumers can experience the superior quality of a diamond without paying an ethical price. It is an eco-friendly solution to a large, greatly concerning, and globally impacting issue. Sustainable options should not be considered an ‘alternative’, but instead, the obvious first choice.
- Criminalize ecocide.
Corporations must be held responsible for the detrimental effects that they cause through their immoral practices. If any individual is caught littering, they are fined. Why has it become acceptable for companies to kill our Earth for the sake of sales profits? Large corporations who commit these acts of destruction and pollution should absolutely be fined, and proceeds should go towards relevant causes to fund safer, environmentally friendly practices.
With proper laws, regulations, and safe guards put into place, companies will be forced to change their harmful ways, or face the consequences through a decline in profits.
Brands who promote sustainable fashion and are against “fast fashion” methods should gain more exposure, especially when they are backed by government-enforced standards.
There is no plan(et) B.
This is our only Earth, and we must share it with our future generations to come. It is our duty to protect this land we call home, and ensure it sustains throughout the test of time. With the rising immediate threat of climate change, we must act now. We must make the best decisions for the future of our Earth, and for every living thing we share it with.