The Fashion Industry’s Top 5 Ethical Issues

The world is being bombarded daily with dirt-cheap clothes. Ethical fashion activists from Dubai, the Middle East, Europe and New Zealand, Canada and the United States voice their concern about the fashion industry’s continued exploitation of natural resources, human and animal. International clothing companies were forced to reexamine how their manufacturing processes impact their workers, their communities, and the environment after the Rana Plaza tragedy. People around the globe began to protest unethical fashion, including environmentalists and philanthropists. Nearly all fashion brands, including the high-end couture houses and fast fashion giants, use unethical production methods. These are the most ethical issues in fashion, especially in the apparel manufacturing industry.

1. Child labor

Fashion brands frequently move their production plants to less developed parts of the globe in their quest for cheap production. This is mainly the Second and Third World. They employ everyone who is capable of working in a factory. The families of these children are often unaware or poor and do not know how to ask questions about the treatment they receive, and to assert their rights as workers. Child fashion workers are forced to work in substandard conditions for long hours and are denied their right to education.

2. Low salaries

Fashion industry claims that it creates jobs in Second and Third World countries and that sweatshops invariably improve the lives of their workers, regardless of whether they are paid living wages. Employment generation is not a factor when the annual wages of sweatshop workers are calculated and his working conditions are speculated. The minimum wage paid to workers in these countries by contractors working for big fashion companies does not cover basic needs and doesn’t even allow them to have a budget for emergency or incidentals.

3. Health And Safety Risks

The fashion industry is known for building their Second and Third World apparel production units cheaply, and shoddily, in order to deny the human rights of scores and scores of women, children, and men.

Moreover, sweatshop workers and cotton farmers are exposed to long-term pesticides and lead-based dyes. They also suffer from poisoning.

  • Consistent vomiting, headaches, tremors
  • Inadequacy of coordination
  • Perception loss
  • Respiratory disease
  • Memory impairment
  • Concentration disorientation
  • Extreme depression and palpitation
  • Seizures
  • Death

This sad state of affairs is due to the focus of big fashion brands on minimizing production costs in order maximize profit. These brands’ obsession with maximizing profits fuels their lack of concern about the well-being of their workers. This then leads them to fail to implement basic workplace safety and health standards in their offshore production units.

4. Environmental degradation

Textile manufacturers did not pay much attention to the environmental impact of their production in the past. This was because it was smaller than today’s. These harmful practices, which were inherited from the beginning of apparel manufacturing, left a lasting and devastating impact on the environment as well as our natural resources. What happens to the ozone layer? If not leakage, how can you expect gallons worth of toxic pesticides to be washed into water bodies during cotton farming? The fashion industry has a large carbon footprint. This is due to excessive pollution in all aspects of the fashion production and retail supply chains.

5. Animal cruelty

Two parts of animal abuse in the fashion industry involve animals. One part is direct torture by objectifying them for their fur, skin or hide. The other harms animals by destroying their habitats and disrupting their food chain. These animals cannot live free and wild because of the fashion production processes. Many animals are kept in captivity, and then shaved by workers to remove their fur. After their fur is shaved, live animals often get mutilated. Some animals, like snakes or crocodiles, are bred to be able to extract their skin for raw materials such as shoes, handbags, or other accessories. has the Spring/Summer Collection! New styles and new colors. Get your favorite handbag now! Even worse, rivers are polluted by pesticides and dyes from textile production. For example, water pollution causes huge numbers of fish deaths each year.

You are the first to ethical fashion

It’s easy to see how the mainstream fashion industry needs a major overhaul. Many concerned companies, influencers, as well as organizations have begun to recognize and take action towards spreading awareness and holding those responsible accountable for their criminal and harmful industry practices. As more fashion brands (new and old) adopt sustainable, ethical, and environmentally-friendly production methods and supply chains, ethical fashion is on the rise.

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