Principles of ethical clothing

Ethical clothing has an important role in making the fashion world socially responsible, after all the fashion industry has a reputation of being exploitative.

Many brands have now jumped on the ethical trend bandwagon. Some are doing it to increase profits, some because they do not want to be left out and others because they genuinely believe it’s the right thing to do.

Being cynical, those who genuinely believe it’s the right thing to do would more than likely end up either going out of business or being bought by another company.

For the fashion industry a place to start in having ethical fashion would be to protect wages, have good working conditions and rights, not use harmful chemical and toxic pesticide, reduce water usage, promote or develop sustainable methods for fashion production, recycle and check energy efficiency of factories before deciding on which factory to go with and be mindful of animal rights.

To be truly, ethical companies need to constantly ask themselves if they can hold their heads up high when questioned on the making of their garments.


There are a few areas to look at here, wages paid, working conditions and not using under aged employees.


Its essential workers are paid a fair wage for the tasks they complete. Ideally, it would also be a wage that meets matches the cost of living.

Working conditions

The environment in which people work in is very important. It doesn’t have to be trendy with the latest office gadgets, but it does have to be safe, have amenities such as bathrooms, a place to eat during breaks, ideally it would be a place things like a hydrolyzed weigh protein can be prepared, read more about this at along with other quick snacks. Its also essential there is a first aid box, just in case there is a minor injury or accident.

The work environment also has to have the right type of tools to allow workers to perform their jobs well.

Workers rights

Having a process workers can follow clearly laid out if they have any grievances should be available to all. Plus having a work environment were grievances can be aired without the fear of being reprimanded, such as losing your job, is something ethical companies must have.

Underage employees

Under no circumstances should a company employ under aged workers. Do you want your latest bag made by a 7 year old working 10 hours a day in a factory?

Supply chain

Consolidating shipments with other retailers, using trucks that use alternative fuel and not using air as a means of transporting garments are ways a fashion retailers carbon footprint can be reduced.

There are more factors that make companies ethical and the above outlines the broader criteria.

People are behind any organisation and treating them well will benefit all concerned. On the environmental side, reducing the effect of business functions such as effects of supply chain is a step towards the goal of being ethical.

The Guardian