What does ethical mean and what is ethical fashion?
In short, ethical means having high moral standards. As I wrote about Sustainable design; there are many answers to this question and it can be interpreted in many ways.
Being an ethical fashion brand means having high moral standard in every aspect. It means paying the taxes, and having good work ethics. But, for me, it also means taking it a step further and strive to improve, encourage and give back. ORES is an acronym for One Responsibility Ethical Society. We are Sustainable and ethical. We look for sustainable ways for everything we do and being ethical is a part of that.
My name is Lisa, I am founder and designer for ORES . My reflection is that the ethical subjects often covers the social responsibility like; community, people and animals here and now, whilst sustainability is more about the environment/ planet and how to choose wisely long term.
Just like sustainable fashion, ethical fashion takes many things under consideration.
Production, Working conditions, Fair trade
Fair wages and a good working environment are basic rights. It is important with safety for the workers, like fire exits and safe equipment to reduce accidents in the workplace. Child labor is forbidden, but occurs in some countries due to poverty, so being clear with the company’s values, and to control that it is agreed to, to prevent it from occurring. Fair trade organizations often help the local community by giving fair work opportunities to woman and encourage their independence and human rights.
To be ethical we need to take care of the environment and controlling our emissions and waste. In the fashion industry, hazardous chemical substances pour out in the water and harms the nature, people and wildlife. All factories must have approved draining systems, but it is more ethical not to use harmful chemicals or to hire very trustworthy companies with “closed systems”. Chrome tanning of leather is one of the dirtiest and most harmful treatments. The chemicals can be dangerous for the people working in production and still be in the clothing when you buy it and keep releasing chemicals when the garment is being washed.
We care for the community and the people living where we produce, and the society we live in. Exploitation of people, animals or land/ raw material, for profit, is unethical. I think people working in the production or farming, should not be exposed to harmful substances and chemicals. A good way to help is fair trade projects and looking at where in the world is charity needed the most right now and give back with donations.
I think it´s important with a strict animals rights policy that is followed all the way in the production chain from farming to finished garment. The animals should be treated with respect and handled with care. All ORES animal wool is obtained and traceable from sources who maintain the highest possible standards of animal welfare. We do not use any fibers obtained by live plucking or skinning, and no animals are slaughtered specifically for the production of any of our products. Animal fibers are responsibly harvested by clipping, shearing and by natural shedding.
Since our planet has limited of resources, we need to be aware of that they can be exceeded. Take care of the things you got and choose your new garments mindfully. Read more about Slow fashion here
At ORES we look at every detail of the company and our production. I think, to be an ethical brand, all of these aspects need to be addressed in a responsible way. We need to look closely how will our decisions effect people, environment and animals now and in the long run.
I hope to inspire and maybe bring some clarity and awareness about sustainable fashion! If you have any ideas, questions or comments about Sustainable design, send us an e-mail!
Also, read more about the way we work here