While the fact that more and more fashion labels are jumping on the ethical bandwagon is certainly no bad thing, it is increasingly difficult to decipher whether brands are as ethical as they claim to be. After all, how ethical is ethical?
‘Ethical should encompass how both people and the environment are treated in the production process,’ says Katie Weightman, ethical fashion designer and founder of Miksani. Miksani is a luxury womenswear label which uses organic and fairtrade materials in its modern and quirky designs.
It is clear from the rise in ethical fashion that consumers’ attitudes towards how and where their clothing is made are changing. In a recent survey by market research leaders Mintel, found that it is important to 60% of people that a company acts ethically and almost a fifth only buy products from a company whose ethics they agree with.
As one of these companies, Miksani certainly should be proud of itself. Its beautiful collections are all made from sustainable materials such as organic silks and banana fibres and it only uses FLO and WFTO certified manufacturers in India and Nepal.
In addition to this, Katie has recently teamed up with carbon offsetting company Piqqo, meaning Miksani is at the very forefront of truly ethical fashion. Although it is a fledgling company, Piqqo has already made a huge impression on the expanding voluntary carbon-offsetting world.
‘I had always wanted to make the whole business carbon neutral. I know the implications of the carbon created from the production of the clothes we sell. I was honoured to be the first fashion brand to use the Piqqo labels and I hope we’ve inspired more to do the same,’ explains Katie.
Miksani cotton garments feature the innovative Piqqo labelling system whereby each label features a unique serial number. This serial number can then be used via the Piqqo website to trace the offset back to the Scolel Té project in Mexico, which helps local land owners manage their forests and land in a sustainable way.
Ethical fashion appears to be firmly entrenched in the minds of consumers in 2010. We are increasingly concerned about where our clothes come from and what effect their production will have on the environment and the people who make them. Ethical is certainly the future of fashion.
Image by Greg Funnel
An extended version of this post was featured on Daisy Green Magazine earlier this year...