Ethical issues in the fashion industryOn April 1, 2022 by Emma Collymore
The issue of ethics is of great concern to society and covers a wide range. Ethical fashion brings to the fore issues related to working conditions, fair trade, animal welfare, exploitation and the environment in the fashion industry. Businesses are increasingly aware of the importance of corporate social responsibility and make the necessary adjustments to satisfy consumers.
The clothes are beautiful to wear, but its manufacture is a concern in various respects. Global warming, the release of nuclear waste, the extinction of certain species and changes in the ecosystem are closely monitored and are most often linked to human activities. The fashion industry bears its share of the blame, and opinions regarding the impact of human activities on the environment differ.
Many companies are trying to cut costs to increase their profits. One way is to hire cheap labor. They achieve this by opening up industries in countries with low labor costs and sometimes using child labor. From an ethical point of view, such a practice is considered unethical. Exploitation of children is often highly condemned in forced labor in unsanitary places. The payment of an hourly wage that does not reflect the hourly cost of the work in which the product is sold is also considered exploitation.
Many outfits are made of cotton. Ethical concerns relate to environmental hazards when using pesticides when growing cotton. Pesticides are harmful to humans and the environment. Pesticides can have adverse symptoms for people such as headaches, depression, seizures or loss of consciousness. This can lead to air, water and soil pollution. Finally, pesticides can kill not only pests but also other animals.
Animal cruelty often comes to the forefront of activists’ agendas. In the manufacture of many types of clothing, including shoes, belts and other accessories, the skin of various animals is used. For example, the production of fur requires the killing of mink, fox or other animals whose skins can be used. Most often, these animals are killed by very cruel methods. In the wild, the numbers are also declining. Some animals are close to extinction due to excessive killing.
Many textiles are treated with chemicals to soften and dye them. Such chemicals are harmful to the environment and can also cause skin diseases. Lead, chromium, nickel, arylamines – these are just some of the chemicals used in the processing of textiles.
Ethical issues in the fashion industry are the cause of much debate. Many companies often respond to public concerns by demonstrating their corporate social responsibility in a variety of ways. Some are radical, being completely green. Others choose a particular issue that they focus on to show their responsibility. For example, many companies explicitly report that the production process of their goods does not involve child labor or low wages. Whatever the truth, ethical issues continue to concern governments, activists and society at large.