As we know, a major obstacle for the for brands that have forms of ethical sourcing and trading is that they continuously compete with fast fashion. At least 40% of clothes are purchased from value retailers. With fast fashion, it is also a quantity based market and it shows: Women are buying 33% more clothes than at the turn of the century and 4 times as many items as in 1980.
The real pressure in this environment of course is handed to the garment workers in Bangladesh , Sri Lanka and many other places where their production targets may only just remain within human capability. The conditions are, a lot of the time, not worthy of any carbon based life form. So what can we do to defeat the fast fashion business model? It’s simple buy from transparent companies with humane factory conditions and buy less.
Our vegan bags at Wilby for example, are mainly made in the UK (two ranges are made in China with strict factory protocol). Materials are organic where possible which is important for a whole other range of issues. We also recommend looking on the Ethical Fashion Forum and other great companies such as Beyond skin who have great vegan shoes that are made in Europe.
Of course another issue is pricing. In a world where the speed is ever increasing, when in a rush do we have time to pick and choose or is it easier to pick up the five pound top on the way home? Prices are locked down by cheap labour which puts pressure on companies that have a more expensive and organic process. Many brands with a conscience still have to outsource abroad at times.