How does one make an ethical garment?
Designer Zinia talks us through garment production and how the process works.
Ethical clothing is something that is becoming more and more prominent by the day. With an increased number of fashion brands taking notice of its importance, there are some only buying and selling ethically produced pieces.
For a garment to be considered ‘ethical’ it must satisfy guidelines that have been set out to ensure it has been made and traded ethically and fairly.
- Is fair to workers
- Encourages acceptable working conditions
- Uses sustainable materials
- Can be eco-friendly
- Has transparency throughout the supply chain
- Highlights awareness to consumers
Many people are aware of fair trade coffee, fair trade chocolate and many other fair trade and ethical food items. However, few people are aware that instead of purchasing clothes from their favourite store, there are ethical clothing providers available both online as well as up and down the high street. The difference between some fair trade and ethical clothing, is that right from the start when the cotton seed is planted the farmer is paid a fair wage and until this point it is considered fair trade. However, some manufactures end up purchasing fair-trade cotton/organic cotton, but their garment workers end up working in poor conditions. Ethical clothing is ethically traded and transparent throughout the whole supply chain.
The abhorrent working conditions and low wages many people suffer in order to earn a simple wage, is not always obvious and is strife in the high street. Ethical garments encourage workers’ rights and better working conditions and policies. The process of making ethical garments ensures that the workers have been paid a fair and decent wage and their working conditions are monitored to guarantee they are safe in the workplace and treated fairly.
Ethical trading companies such as People Tree, Shukur and Zinia K – my own brand, go the extra mile in working very closely with supply chains to guarantee that products are sourced ethically.
Additionally, ethical garments encourage using sustainable products and being eco-friendly where possible.
Being Muslim, it is our duty to look into where we source the garments that cover our backs. For the Prophet (saw) used to praise Allāh (swt) for the clothes he was provided, meaning that clothes are a bounty from Allāh and one should thank those who made it possible for us to receive this bounty. You can do your part, by shopping more ethically, and support the industry from your end of the chain as the consumer. Change always starts with one and that one could be you.
Zinia K is a young Muslim designer with a penchant for ethics. The ‘ethical’ designer makes sure all of her produce comes through on a fair deal.