Sustainable – ethical – slow fashion, these are the words being used by different brands, companies, textile designers, but do we know actually what is the difference between the 3…
To make this clear, let’s look first the definition. To do so, I read different websites and here is the little summary for each below:
Sustainable Fashion: This refers to the effects of the production of clothing on the environment. This includes the use of chemical or no in the dyes used for various colors, water and waste management, the energy reduction, using recycled materials, and sometimes even packaging. The list of opportunities to be a more sustainable fashion brand goes on and on.
Slow Fashion: This generally refers to the style, design, and quality of the garment, as well as the intention behind how it was made (a.k.a. – not a fast fashion brand). It involves buying clothing made of durable fabrics and staying away from fluctuating trends so you can still wear the pieces you love years down the road.
Ethical Fashion refers more on how the clothing was made, encompassing everything from how the cotton was grown to how the garment workers who made the clothes are treated and paid, their safety (no sweatshops, child labor or worker abuse). From my personal opinion, this includes the main first Fair Trade principle that child labor is not involved and the workers receive fair wages and working condition. Having said this and looking at the WFTO Fair trade principles, you will find the environment concern (which refers to the Sustainable definition above…) so from my personal point of view (again), I would say that Ethical Fashion can refer to the human concern and the environment too (if you see from the perspective of the WFTO Fair trade principles)
To sum up,
Ethical Fashion – concerns human rights.
Sustainable Fashion – concerns the environment.
Slow Fashion – concerns the clothing piece itself.