Sustainability and ethical living have become a hot topic of conversation in recent years. From events such as the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 to the shocking scenes in documentaries such as Stacey Dooley’s – Fashion’s Dirty Secrets, there’s no getting away from the fact – something has to change.
However, the cycle of fast fashion and impulsive consumerism is a tough nut to crack. It’s not just shopper’s that have a responsibility to change habits; it’s the brands themselves that have a duty of care to modify their practices.
Change is coming
A recent report by the Environmental Audit Committee titled – Fixing Fashion: Clothing Consumption and Sustainability details significant problems with fast fashion production. There have also been calls to add a 1p levy onto garments to fund better recycling and collection to reduce the impact of our throwaway society.
Alongside these efforts, there are a number of other organisations helping consumers to make more informed choices. A great example of this is the app – Good On You.
How ethical are popular fashion brands?
It’s super easy to find out how ethical brands are with Good On You. By downloading the app, you’ll have information on over 2,000 companies which are assessed on a rating system. It’s not just a source of trusted brand ratings either. You’ll also find helpful articles and guides on ethical and sustainable fashion.
They celebrate the fashion designers and makers who are doing good and connect them with members of the Good On You community who want to look and live better. Good On You users can discover the best brands via the app and website, and urge others to improve. This growing movement empowers people to drive change through their fashion choices.
So how does the rating system work? There are three main criteria to determine a brands’ rating, this includes:
Good On You looks at a brands’ impact on workers across the supply chain. These include policies and practices on child labour, forced labour, worker safety, freedom of association (the right to join a union) and payment of a living wage. It also considers a brand’s supplier relationships and auditing practices.
The app considers each brand’s resource use and disposal, energy use and carbon emissions, impacts on water, as well as chemical use and disposal.
Good On You identifies the use of fur, angora, down feather, shearling, karakul and exotic animal skin and hair. It also considers wool use including ‘mulesing’ and whether and how the brand uses leather.
For each of people, planet and animals, they also consider if brands are taking positive steps – such as providing industry leadership on issues – or whether they engage in ‘negative citizenship’ like lobbying against legislation to increase transparency or reduce harm.
The future of fashion
This innovative company are working to promote a more transparent, ethical and sustainable fashion industry. A-lister Emma Watson has also recently been announced as a Good on You supporter and uses the ratings as a benchmark for her own sustainable and ethical fashion choices.
So are you a little curious about how your favourites rate?