Updated: Jan 14, 2022
With global brands producing throwaway fashion on the cheap, it makes you wonder how all these “wear today, toss tomorrow” items affect our environment. From overseas mills emitting chemicals during production, to the massive carbon impact during transport, it causes further damage to the world around us. You have to wonder if cheap fashion is worth the detriment to our planet.
Enough clothing manufacturers have begun pondering methods to improve our environmental impact to have started a trend toward ethically produced clothing. More and more fashion designers are becoming aware that our ability to enjoy our beautiful planet for generations to come is more important than offering thousands of new styles daily. These designers are now producing mindful clothing, aiming at quality over quantity, consideration over consumerism, and building ethical brands that hold themselves responsible.
At Purest Form, we value this viewpoint and are consistently striving towards improvement. As we continue to use high quality fabrics and ethical garment manufacturers, we also continue to work towards certifiably sustainable clothing. Many of our products are already Oeko-Tex certified and organic.
So, What Is Ethically-Produced Clothing?
“Ethically-produced” clothing, while not universally defined, usually includes a few universal truths for all designers. That definition often includes using all-natural fabrics that are locally sourced. It could consist of building a diverse local labor force. Or, it could include a focus on reducing their carbon footprint at each link in their supply chains.
Ethical clothing usually begins with fabric choice. Natural fabrics are better than synthetic ones, but each still has an impact on the environment. The ethical designer will choose materials whose production causes the least harm.
Next, designers will source locally or nationally to avoid carbon impact where they can. Local purchases can also help them create a positive social impact by supporting local labor forces. An added bonus is a more agile supply chain where local businesses support each other.
Other considerations of ethical designers are dyes, labor conditions, finishing touches like zippers and buttons, and the method of fabric production from planted seed to finished garment.
Simply put, ethically-produced fashion strives to reduce adverse effects on living things and the planet itself.
The Transition to Slow Fashion
The growing popularity of ethically-produced fashion has brought about a new appreciation for what has been dubbed “slow fashion.” After decades of scrambling to buy the latest fad promoted by influencers, people are becoming more mindful of fashion choices and brands.
More and more shoppers avoid impulse buys and choose to put their money towards products that make a difference. These shoppers research not just the designers but their methods and mission statements.
They take time to consider a company’s production methods and where the clothing is produced. Is their labor force appropriately treated? Do they use child labor or have harsh working conditions? Is the designer an ethical, environmentally conscious one?
Future success for any designer will be learning to transition from grab-it-and-go pieces to slow fashion that can be worn and cherished for years.
Is Slow Fashion Better Quality?
Slow fashion can be defined as a state of mind and a way of manufacturing. The purpose of creating slow fashion is to “slow” the consumers’ hunger for new things every week and encourage them to appreciate versatile, classic pieces instead. Producing slow fashion also means the designer looks for high-quality, ethically-produced fabrics sourced locally whenever possible.
The trend toward high-quality, slow fashion naturally follows designers and companies that want to reduce harmful impacts on the earth. When your design process is more thoughtful, it automatically becomes slower and more contemplative.
Well-thought-out collections that can be combined for various looks reduce the need for a bulging closet. A reduced closet reduces the negative impact on the planet and increases the positive effects on your quality of life. You are less stressed choosing outfits every day. Your clothes become like old friends; cherished and treasured. You select a few new pieces from your favorite ethical designers each season instead of buying throwaway pieces, all more than likely produced under unfavorable conditions.
Everyone Benefits from Ethically-Produced Slow Fashion
There are tremendous advantages to buying slow fashion. You don’t waste money on low-quality pieces that begin to deteriorate after the first wash. You have the opportunity to create a unique style by combining quality, slow fashion pieces. You can freshen up your look whenever you like with just a few colorful shoes, belts, or hats.
You also benefit from knowing that you are taking care of the environment around you. Buyers of slow fashion sleep well at night, knowing they are doing their part to help our planet survive. By choosing designers who adhere to ethical production methods from design to rack, you are already what we all need to be: a mindful shopper.
Ethical Slow Fashion in Toronto
If you live in or near Toronto, you’re near one of the brightest and best designers. PurestForm.ca is the ethical brand launched by expert pattern maker Tanya Ruddy. From the first sketch to hangtag, Ruddy prioritizes her local supply chain.
Ruddy’s charming, classic pieces are produced to flatter a woman’s form while providing comfort and versatility with a touch of whimsy. Each piece is designed to be worn with others in her collection. An array of outfits is possible for any occasion with just a few of her flattering pieces.
Ruddy also sources many of her high-quality fabrics locally, utilizing existing or dead stock which would otherwise end up in a landfill, harming the environment. Many of Ruddy’s Purest Form designs are lovingly crafted from Oeko-Tex certified and organic fabrics, and all are manufactured locally in Toronto, giving customers mindful pieces they’ll cherish for years to come. And this is just the beginning as she continues her journey to make Purest Form as ethical as possible.
If you are looking for an excellent place to begin your “Slow Fashion” shopping trip, Purestform.ca is the perfect place to start.