In an essay on fast fashion that we referenced recently, Not Just a Label echoed a sentiment that we share here at The Fashion Law, writing: "Today’s mainstream fashion industry relies on globalised, mass production where garments are transformed from the design stage to the retail floor in only a few weeks. With retailers selling the latest fashion trends at very low prices, consumers are easily swayed to purchase more than they need. But this overconsumption comes with a hidden price tag, and it is the environment and workers in the supply chain that pay." With fast fashion seemingly dominating nearly every inch of the marketplace, finding ethically-made garments and accessories is not exactly an easy task, and so, we have taken it upon ourselves to help you out (thereby, launching an ethical fashion series of sorts). Last week we told you about HELPSY, and up this week: Shop Ethica.
So, what is Shop Ethica and what makes it special? Well, it is an e-commerce site that boasts an impressive roster of designers that produce ethical and sustainable garments and accessories. Launched in the fall of 2012 by Honduras-born, New York-based sisters Melissa and Carolina Cantor, the site, which focuses on providing "showstopping designs" that you can wear for "a long, long time," has a two-fold mission: to showcase the most exciting examples of conscious, contemporary fashion, and to shape thoughtful approaches to shopping, style and trends through a focus on storytelling. It stocks an array of brands (think: A Peace Treaty, Bing Bang NYC, Hare + Hart, Freedom of Animals (pictured below), Samantha Pleet, and Valentine Gauthier, among others) that it has deemed to be "ethical." As for what that means, the Ethica team, which has set forth its own strict set of standards, says ethical fashion encompasses a broader and more rigorous set of criteria than "eco fashion, sustainable fashion and slow fashion," for instance.
According to a statement from the brand, "No matter how eco-friendly a product is, or how much a company gives to charity, we believe a brand cannot be considered ethical if it has not made a demonstrable commitment to protecting human rights." Specifically, the garments, accessories and other products that Ethica sources are all "made in safe, healthy environments where workers are treated and compensated fairly."
Becoming a more conscious consumer involves analysis, deliberation and asking questions, and Shop Ethica is certainly doing its part to assist consumers in making more informed decisions when it comes to their clothing and accessories.