Let´s take a look at what eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable clothing actually is and analyse the reasons for buying it.
Eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable clothing has been made using materials that have been produced in line with organic standards of agriculture or from eco-friendly resources such as recycled materials. The people involved in the process will have been paid a fair wage and been working in safe and pleasant conditions. And the materials, manufacturers, distributors and sellers are ideally located in the same local vicinity as the buyers.
This might all sound like a big ask, but it really isn´t.
The knowledge, skills, and technology have long been in place to grow, create, design, and manufacture top quality eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable clothing that is comfortable, durable, fashionable and stylish.
Surely, it´s incredible that eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable practices are ´unconventional´ and having to argue their case?
The crux of the matter is price and what we, the consumers, are willing to pay.
Unfortunately we have been hypnotized into the daydream of consumerism by the big brand retailers and have become completely disconnected from the reality of what we are actually buying.
We just want it and expect it and demand it at the lowest possible price.
The same has happened with our food choices. The majority of people are consuming meat, eggs, fish, fruit and vegetables that are plentiful, cheap, quick and easy, but neither good for us or good for our environment.
We are not immediately aware of the negative effects and so we become blasé. Disconnectedness and detachment is rife. They are essential pillars of modern Western consumerist society.
Could we buy chicken or a burger every day if we were the ones who had to slit the animal´s throat? Could we live next door to the sweatshop that is churning out our T-shirts or trainers?
Current levels of production and consumption are totally unsustainable. Our planet is very resilient but it will not put up with us forever if we continue ravaging it in this way.
In the meantime, before we completely wipe ourselves off the planet, the reckless, single-minded quest for the lowest price point of consumerism and materialism leads to countless spin-off issues. The most notable of these is probably ill-health (obesity, cancer, heart disease, depression, stress, addiction). What goes around comes around.
The buck starts and stops with us, the consumer. The consumer is King. We propel the market.
If we demand £3.00 chickens then scrawny, pallid carcasses that have been dragged through hell is what we´ll get. If we demand £5.00 T-shirts then some poor soul in India, South America, or China will have had to slog their guts out for a pittance to make them for us.
We have to start taking responsibility individually for our actions and not just follow along with the rest of society. The information is out there, it is up to us to engage and have the strength of character to do what is right.
Then we get back to price.
As with organic food produce, eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable clothing is going to cost you more. But you have to consider the true cost and the true value of what you are purchasing.
The reality is that ´conventional´ clothing, just like ´conventional´ food produce, is actually priced too cheaply. The true cost is paid elsewhere via the negative effects on us and our environment.
Sure a garment of eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable clothing may set you back a little more than something from Primark or Top Shop, but it will almost certainly be of superior quality and created with love by green-minded individuals who take genuine pride in their craft.
The whole process, from start to finish, is a sustainable one and there are smiles on everyone´s faces.
You can wear eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable clothing with your head held high. You will not only be looking damn cool, but you will also be proud in the knowledge that you have made informed and responsible choices to help your local community, country and planet.
Buying throwaway clothing at throwaway prices is totally at odds with the principles of green living. We need to get back in tune with the values of quality over quantity, reducing, reusing, repairing, and recycling.
If we buy better clothes we can use them longer. This means less raw materials being used and lower carbon emissions from the manufacturing and transportation processes.
We should look to buying more second-hand clothes and donating or selling more of our old clothes to places such as charity, vintage shops, car boot sales, or classified ads.
There are also now lots of opportunities to source clothing that has been made using recycled materials or from natural fibres that have been organically produced such as organic cotton, hemp, or flax linen.
There has never been an easier time to source fantastic eco-friendly, ethical, sustainable clothing.
So, go on, make the switch.