The Social Consequences of the Fashion Industry
The production of clothes is an area that I expect to become much more focused upon in the near future. It's definitely an industry of concern when it comes to all sorts of issues, to say the least. Unethical working conditions, environmental damage, CO2 emissions...
The balance between being socially and environmentally responsible while providing customers with quality but not prohibitively expensive products is a constant battle.
Here at Handsome Fella we are passionate about supporting British made products. We believe this is good for our country (being a British business, I guess we're biased there) but also because it reduces CO2 emissions globally while being able to trust environmental standards and strong working ethics are being met. This is because the UK is country that has higher standards and strong laws and enforcement on a range of issues compared to some other countries. But also because us being a Britain based business means we can more easily find out about how things are being done. It's somewhat inevitable that factories being in countries far away are harder to inspect. And some countries do not have as high standards on a range of issues as others.
That isn't to say that clothes made in other countries beyond the UK or the EU are always problematic when it comes to working conditions or environmental standards, although when clothes are being made in countries that are less economically developed than the UK there will sometimes be practices that do not meet UK standards. Unfortunately, this is something that is a reality in the global fashion industry. And in order for a wide range of affordable items to be made and brought to customers in this currently global industry fashion retailers will have to source many of their products from countries the world over.
The same can be said for some of the independent brands that sell on Handsome Fella. However, we will always make sure to work with independent makers, creators and designers that are committed to high social and environmental standards no matter where clothes are being made. But we will also make a special effort to work with brands that have their clothes made in the UK and in other countries that we know to generally have high standards on working conditions and environmental standards.
Specifically, we want to encourage clothing and textile manufacturing industry to grow in the UK and help rebuild a stronger textile and clothing manufacturing supply chain closer to home. This is something that we are particularly passionate about. And it's why we will aim to have many independent brands selling British made clothing as part of the Handsome Fella community and marketplace. We believe this will result in a lot more social positives especially for the environment.
Customers should remember though, that one of the best ways to prevent fashion from producing harmful situations is through their own behaviour. As the old adage goes, everything in moderation... Often the damage caused by certain practices involved in clothing production comes from overuse. Intensive methods to produce certain fabrics, for example. A shift in mindset away from buying often but cheaply to buying less frequently but at a slightly higher price could have a major effect on the global industry. Buying higher quality items that last longer, is a winner.