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Slow Fashion: Aesthetics Meets Ethics

Much has being written about ethical fashion over recent years, especially since the collapse of Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in 2013 killing or maiming more than 1,100 factory workers.

The outrage was worldwide that these people, who were lowly paid, suffered extremely poor working conditions, and often lived far from their homes, suffered so terribly, due to poor management, excessive demands for cheap clothing generated by the spin doctors and a fashion industry that, instead of holding several shows per year, now was careering out of control, getting faster and faster; the demand getting more and more frenetic.

But what has been done since the hue and cry has died down; something it would seem, thankfully and although the growth has been slow it is continuing and holding true to the ideals of Safia Minney, a woman who has worked tirelessly for more than 25 years to bring, safe, ethical fashion into the mainstream; to provide good working conditions for the womenwho manufacture the garments and provided a better and more stable industry which, she hopes, will eventually become the norm, rather than the poor relation to the fashion industry; that of Ethical fashion.

In this look at what is taking place and has grown over the past 25 years in regard to Ethical fashion, we enter a world that seems almost idyllic, but it is not; it is a world that still has to produce a garment that is going to be sold on the world marketplace and that people are going to want to purchase; there-for all the same issues of production still apply,

But  it is how Safia Minney goes about producing these garments that tells a so very different story; It tells of an industry that is slowing growing, finding its way into eclectic and selective marketplaces; resonating with younger buyers who want to be on-trend while supporting and promoting the environment, fair trade and ethical manufacturing.

Each of the chapters details a differing aspect of the industry featuring wonderful cameo interviews with designers, producers and buyers, sellers and the entrepreneurs, who will do much to promote and ensure the ethical fashion ‘rag’ trade keeps on moving slowly, slowly forward.

To read the various interviews presents an entirely different perspective into the manufacture and sale of eco and ethical clothing and the direction the few of the major fashion houses are heading as we move inexorably into 2017.

With the amount of airspace environmental issue do receive from time to time, and in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster you would have expected more to have been done, but like everything else built to last, first people have to make a conscious decision to support ethical fashion, then be prepared to a walk the talk and purchase the goods.

The major point coming through the pages and via the people such as Zandra Rhodes, Moon Sharma, Cara Bartlett, Dean Newcombe and the like, is the one Safia Minney has been promoting all these years through her Fair Trade commitments and brand People Tree; if you look after your workers, provide a good workplace and environment, use ethically sourced and produced products, you produce a stable workforce, engaged with what they do which makes a happy, productive community producing a top quality product.

Read the book, make up your own mind and be prepared to venture forth on a fresh new journey into wonderful, ethically produced fashion that will look fantastic, be a serious talking point amongst your friends and relatives, which will definitely last more than one season.

But the best of all is you know you are making a small difference in someone’s life that is positive, and that you have joined the slowly increasing movement to hopefully one day in the not too distant future, move away from the sweat shops such as Rana Plaza and into the fresh clean air of ethically, environmentally produced fashion garments.

Safia Minney has devoted more than 25 years of her life to creating and promoting the Fair Trade Movement which began in a very small way and has now swelled to an organisation known and respected world-wide.

She has received and MBE for her work in the Fair Trade and fashion is industry with her work in the Fair Trade Movement seeing her being awarded Outstanding Social Entrepreneur by the World Economic Forum.

AuthorSafia Minney
PublisherNew Internationalist
ISBN9781780262833
Websitehttp:/www.newsouthbooks.com,au
DistributorNew South Books
ReleasedJuly 2016