We cannot go through life without buying certain things, no matter how spartan or minimalist we may strive to be there are something things we simply cannot avoid.
Eating being a great example.
The vegan movement is growing rapidly and teaching huge amounts of people every year how they can eat more ethically whilst having less impact on the planet and at the same time reduce the suffering of animals. It’s quite easy to eat vegan in this day and age.
_ VEGAN FOOD VS VEGAN CLOTHING _
Now, we all have to wear clothes, right?
Unfortunately it is harder to wear ethical clothes than it is to eat vegan for a couple of reasons:
Food labelling is very comprehensive and shows every single input that you will consume within that labelled product .
Clothing simply doesn’t have the same level of accountability when it comes to the make up of your clothes.
Often dyes and glues used in clothing can contain animal products or harsh chemicals, conveniently for the clothing industry the labelling laws mean consumers are blissfully unaware of the impact their clothing choices are making.
This can make sourcing ethical clothing much more difficult than choosing which sandwich has the better moral consequences.
Secondly: Advertising rules
Anyone can advertise their clothing as “ethical” and people have varying degrees of what ethical is to them, to some businesses it just can be an excuse to increase profit margins.
For example there are a lot of “ethical” products originating from developing countries being pumped out of sweat shops and under slave like conditions, likewise in these developing countries the environmental protections we enjoy in a country like Australia or similar simply do not exist and often harmful practices are used in the manufacturing of these products.
Also “vegan leather” is often cited as being ethical despite it being unsustainable and often produced in questionable conditions.
So how do consumers ensure they are purchasing a truly ethical fashion product?
At Velvety we spend a looooooot of time searching for and doing research on different products to ensure they meet our values, sadly most products we find fall short of what we require to become a velvety product.
OUR FIRST TEST IS:
What is the product made of?
If the material is not cruelty free, is unsustainable or at the very least not recycled/upcycled then straight away there’s no point looking at it further for us.
OUR SECOND TEST IS:
Where and how is it made?
If the product is made in the developing world then independent certification such as fair trade is the best way to ensure there is no slavery or super exploitative practices are involved in the manufacturing.
There have been so many products that look great from the outside that we would have loved to have stocked but we just couldn’t verify that the manufacturing process was 100% ethical.
If there is no independent third party certification of fair trade or like then without actually visiting the facility you will never know just what is occurring there.
Some of the independent certification bodies we trust are:
THE THIRD TEST IS:
Is it affordable and fashionable?
We want ethical clothing to be main stream and not just limited to high society, there are some products that tick all the boxes but just have too high a price that we can’t justify.
Velvety needs to change the world and if the world is to change everyone needs to be involved not just the wealthy.
We do all the hard work sourcing these products so that all you need to do is find the product that suits you and let your conscious rest easy knowing you’ve made an ethical decision.
We are always on the look out for more products to bring to the public in a simple one stop online shop, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you or someone you know produces ethical fashion. We stock everything from men and women’s clothing, to bags, jewellery+accessories, soy candles and beauty products and anything in between which catches our eye.