Somehow you got introduced to fair and sustainable fashion and you feel like diving into a conscious fashion lifestyle? We get asked a lot of questions from people who are just starting and even experienced ethical fashionista’s on a daily basis. We summed them up and made a list of these frequently asked questions about fair, sustainable, ethical, eco … fashion.
Here’s a quick summation of the current questions if you wish to jump immediately to the answer:
- What is fair fashion?
- What is sustainable fashion?
- What is fast fashion?
- What is greenwashing?
- Is fair or sustainable fashion expensive?
- Where to buy sustainable fashion?
- How does sustainable fashion help the environment?
- Submit your question.
What is fair fashion?
Fair fashion actually stands for fair trade fashion. This means that the workers who have made the garments of a specific brand are paid a fair living wage for example. Or in more general terms: from factory workers to designers, every employee has ethical working conditions, including salary, safety measurements, etc.
As many of these conditions are defined as ethical, a close synonym for fair fashion would be ethical fashion. Though you should keep in mind that this term also looks at the ethical treatment of animals in the fashion industry and as a result, vegan fashion could be seen as a part of this term.
What is sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion is another much used term these days. It mainly refers to brands producing in a more sustainable way, using for example innovative fibres or recycled materials. Though many brands also look outside their own production cycle and include initiatives such as waste or energy reduction on a company-wide level.
Other words used to refer to sustainable fashion are, for example, eco fashion and green fashion. But we aware of greenwashing… Not quite sure what this is? We’ve explained it for you in another question.
Read more about the differences in our Sustainable Fashion Dictionary.
What is fast fashion?
The term fast fashion refers to today’s fashion system in which the speed of the design, production and consumers buying the garments rises every day. Brands (and their sidekicks) are basically just bombarding customers with trendy new clothes every week that they feel that what they had bought last week is not trendy enough anymore. This leads to consumers buying more and more things they don’t actually need.
That’s where the slow or conscious fashion movement comes in, asking consumers to slow down, to make their buying decisions more consciously. Before buying anything, you should ask ourself two questions:
- Do I really need this?
- Is this the most sustainable or fair option I can find?
What is greenwashing?
A brand can do one thing sustainable but that does not mean it is a sustainable brand…
Sustainability has many characteristics and many different scales and levels. We are here to support any brand that is doing more than the average fashion brand when it comes to being more transparent or sustainable. However, we should all be aware of greenwashing! This term is used when companies mislead consumers, talking about the sustainability initiates they take while ignoring the biggest ones. Via this way, they create a wrong “green” image in the consumers’ heads.
Is fair or sustainable fashion expensive?
Yes and no. Just like there are many cheap and expensive brands in the conventional fashion industry, there is a broad scale of the clothing’s prices in the fair and sustainable fashion market. Some “cheaper” brands are, for example, Armed Angels and some more “expensive” brands are Stella McCartney or KowTow.
We have put “cheap” and “expensive” in between quotation marks. That’s because we just want to state that even though this a very good and reasonable question, these terms do not mean the same to people from different financial situations.
If you’re on a really tight budget and you want to buy cheap sustainable fashion? Enter second hand Shops, thrift markets or vintage and pre-loved online fashion places.
Where to buy sustainable fashion?
Not sure where to start? Check out the following list to prepare for your first or next sustainable purchase:
- Check out some of your local stores, and investigate the brands they sell. Maybe they have a sustainable brand without focussing on it.
- Have you checked any second hand shops in your neighbourhood or some online pre-loved market places?
- Plan a trip to a bigger city and investigate beforehand which sustainable and fair shops the city offers.
- Look out for local brands, produced in your own region or country and support your local community.
- Google it and discover many sustainable e-commerce and the many sustainable brands that mostly also have an online shop.
How does sustainable fashion help the environment?
Submit your question
We are constantly updating this page with more frequently asked questions about fair or sustainable fashion. Didn’t find an answer to a question you have, let us know via our socials or via e-mail!