This subject has been brought to my attention over the last few years as it is being discussed more by social influencers and increasingly publicised in the media. As a university student, I fully understand the struggle of wanting affordable clothing. The appeal of having a full wardrobe, for such a cheap price, is enticing. When I was younger ‘hand-me-down’ clothes from our family friends were my favourite. My sister and I would look forward to the bin bag of second hand clothes. Often, I’d get attached to a certain piece of clothing and wear nothing else for months on end.
Somewhere along the line, society has got into my head and I no longer value clothes the same way. Buying a new clothing item each week for parties was my norm. But realistically the clothing is made poorly and from cheap materials so it's unlikely to last even a few months. By next season I’d be purchasing a whole new wardrobe all over again. However, once I researched the horrific statistics of fast fashion, it’s hard to ignore the impact on fellow humans, animals and the environment.
When discussing the subject of living as ethically as we can The Good Place Netflix series points out that it is near impossible, as life is ‘chaotic, messy and unpredictable’. Living ethically is this hard for many reasons. Our society isn't set up for living this way. The accessible options are often the products that are most unethical. Even when trying to make ethical decisions such as buying clothes from Depop, Ebay, charity shops etc as a way to avoid fast fashion, it can still be harming the environment. Unless a clothing item is made from 100% natural materials, toxic fibres are released every time it's washed. Polyester is a type of plastic and when washed the synthetic microfibres are released into the oceans which causes harm to the fish, coral reefs and the environment. It can seem like whatever decision you make you are unwittingly supporting something negative. Even if I lived naked in a forest growing my own veg, I'm sure I'd still accidentally make an unethical decision.
I am aware that so far this blog post has been utterly depressing. I felt the need to emphasise that no one can live the perfect life and choose ethical decisions all the time. We can only aim to be as educated and considerate as we can. We Are Known aims to be as ethical as possible. We are doing the tricky research so you don’t have to. All of our current t-shirt collection is fair wear, meaning they are guaranteed not to result from a place of suffering. All of our t-shirts are made from 100% cotton and we are working towards being fully organic. Not only are we ethical but our prices are incredibly low compared to other Ethical Fashion brands.
High street prices for quality, ethically-sourced products.
As a brand with Christian values this is one of the most important subjects we want to discuss. We are people striving to show love in every aspect of our lives and we want our brand to do the same.
Here are some resources that I found enlightening and interesting:
An app called Good On You allows you to search big clothing brands and tells you how ethical they are. For example New look and Urban Outfitters fall in the Not Good Enough category. Whereas brands like Brandy Melville and Misguided fall into the Avoid category. Misguided had a scandal in 2017 where their factorie, located the UK, were paying workers sometimes less than half the minimum wage, and items that were labelled as faux fur were found to contain real animal hair, consistent with rabbits and cats after being tested by fibre experts.
An episode from the podcast Adulting by Oenone Forbat and specifically episode 19 on fast fashion.
A documentary called ‘The True Cost’ - this is on UK Netflix currently.
Do you find ethical living a struggle, or am I just being a drama queen?
We'd be interested to hear about any helpful resources/tips, whether related to clothing or general lifestyle! Comment below :)