Sustainability in the Fashion Industry

The current state of the fashion industry is in complete disarray considering the environment, and ethical labor. Constantly, the systems are abused by large fast fashion corporations that take advantage of the cheap labor costs with no concern for the workers and the environment. However, there are many fashion brands working to stop these normalized practices and produce clothing that is ethically and sustainably made. These brands work to reduce the environmental impact in any aspect that they can through the fabrics and textiles, water and energy consumption, ethical labor, recycled and organic materials etc. Online sources were used to gather specific and relevant data about ten sustainable and ethical fashion brands. A matrix was created outlining the variables that should be highlighted including labor rights, raw materials, carbon footprint, waste management, water usage, distribution and packaging, third party certifications, minority owned businesses, animal welfare, and transparency. Overall, there was a trend in focus within the raw materials and ethical labor sections, while many brands did not assess their waste and water management or third party certifications. The challenges faced by consumers to make sustainable and ethical shopping decisions is prevalent in the disjointed array of information collected from each brand.