When you think of environmentally conscious clothing, does a hessian sack for a dress come to mind? London-based Fashion-Conscience.com has set about sourcing clothes that fall into one of five categories: organic, fair trade, sustainable, recycled or vegan. If you're wondering what "ethical" clothing really means, and why it's important, read on:
Organic Although organic cotton is more expensive, you are supporting the environmental and ethical approach to growing the world's biggest fabric fibre. Choosing organic cotton sends a clear message that we don't want chemicals in our clothes and allows growers to take precautions against pollution in their own environments.
Fair trade Many companies exploit workers by paying them below official wage rates, making them work excessive hours, they may use underage workers, use "sweatshops", treat workers poorly in poor conditions, don't invest in their workers' skills or communities. Buying fair trade clothes means you won't abide by this kind of treatment.
Sustainable Choosing sustainable designs means you are sending out a clear message about how you'd prefer your clothing to have minimal impact on the environment, as well as potentially reduce the fabric and discarded clothes mountains already in existence. Plus, sustainable clothes encourage developments in biodegradable materials.
Recycled This prevents the waste of useful materials and reduces the consumption of fresh raw materials and their associated energy and consumption.
Vegan This relates to clothing that has not been made using meat by-products or any animal or animal-tested by-products.
To illustrate how beautiful and wonderfully funky such clothing can be, I've pasted a few pieces below.