1. Fair Wages and Working Environments
In many countries, there are labor laws in place that make sure companies are fairly compensating you for your time and treating you well. Think minimum wage or safety laws. Unfortunately, in many countries where fast fashion is made, there are no such protections in place for workers. Many people making clothing are paid pennies a day, put in unsafe working environments, and may work long days that are unhealthy.
Fair trade fashion puts workers first, paying them livable wages (often above the standard), operate workers on normal and healthy work days, and keep their workers safe. When you’re wearing your fair-trade pieces, you can feel good knowing that no one was harmed or treated unfairly while making them. Clothes that look good, and feel good.
2. Good for the EarthMany fast fashion lines do not have mother earth and nature o=in the forefront of their minds, producing a lot of pollution and using a lot of water. Ethical, fair-trade, and sustainable clothing manufacturers work to reduce the impact of their manufacturing on the environment, especially sustainable lines. Not only are they treating the earth well, but they are treating their workers down and research ways to reduce water usage (or use sustainable fabrics and dyes).
3. Community Impact
Fair trade fashion directly gives back to the communities they produce in. By being aware of the environment, these companies are making sure the communities they are producing in are still livable and safe. Also, these companies are providing jobs, many times to women, and paying them fair wages to help the economy and allow these workers to live long and pleasant lives. Since ethical fashion companies do not use child labor, children are also able to remain in schools and learn (since their parents are being paid livable wages).
4. Safety and Quality
Safety for workers and the environment means safe clothes for you. Fair trade fashion produces safe products that are free of a lot of chemicals or synthetic items that are found in many fast fashion lines. Pesticides, agricultural chemicals, and GMOs are all kept out of the products. Not only are the clothes safer, they are often higher quality with hand sewn seams and care put into the products.
5. Fashionable and On Trend
Finally, fair trade fashion is just as fashionable and chic as any other clothing, just with better working and environmental standards. You’ll find all the trends you love, from organic cotton palazzo pants to vegan leather, and these clothes come in a variety of colors, prints, and fabrics.
For more on the topic of Fair Trade Fashion vs. Fast Fashion, check out this recent article from Borgen Magizine.