Have you ever wondered how to make an ethical garment? Fabulous Zinia, a credible designer talks us through the process of making an ethical garment and why they are different from 'normal' clothing.
The popularity of clothing that adheres to ethical standards is increasingly rapidly over the years. More fashion brands and high street stores are beginning to recognize the importance of stocking ethical clothing for their customers. In fact, there are now ample stores that solely sell ethical clothing.
Specific guidelines should be met for a piece of clothing to be branded 'ethical'. Overall, the guidelines put in place are supposed to ensure that the piece of clothing has to be made and traded both fairly and ethically.
In brief, ethical clothing should be fair to its workers. For example, the energy and time permitted to make the garment should be reflected in the employees' salaries. Also, the garment should have been made under acceptable working conditions. Meaning that workers should have created the product in a safe working environment. Besides, the materials used to make the garment should be sustainable and eco-friendly, meaning that no harm should come to the environment (including animals) to produce the garment. Lastly, the suppliers should be fully informed of how the garments were created from start to finish, and this information should be transparent to customers. All factors such as materials and the location of where it was made should be clearly stated.
Products such as fair trade chocolate and coffee are commonly heard of as opposed to ethical clothing. Far fewer people are aware of ethical clothing that is available online and on the high streets. It's important to note that there are major differences between how regular clothes and ethical garments are produced. From the very beginning (i.e. the planting of the seed) ethical clothing is manufactured ensuring that all parties involved are paid fairly, and the conditions that they work in are sufficient. Such precautions are rarely taken when producing 'normal' clothing.
When people choose and buy their clothing, it's not always obvious that the people who made the item are poorly paid and working in unsatisfactory conditions for extended periods of time. Ethical garment manufacturing works towards ensuring that policies to keep employees health and safety a priority are enforced. There are now many ethical clothing companies, including Zinia K – my own brand, which work in close cooperation with supply chains to guarantee that products are ethically sourced. Where possible, ethical garments are created using eco-friendly resources.
As Muslims, it is our responsibility to investigate where the clothing we wear is produced and how. The Prophet repeatedly praised Allah for the clothing he was given. Consequently, the clothing we wear is a gift from Allah, therefore, we should be grateful and thankful to those that produced them for us. We call all do our bit by actively choosing to shop at stores and online from places that stock ethical garments. We cannot change the clothing manufacturing sector overnight, but together we can help make significant changes over time.