Whether you are a seasoned advocate for or just getting interested in ethical fashion, you will know that ‘ethical fashion’ is a cover-all phrase for many different things.
According to the Ethical Fashion Forum, ‘ethical fashion represents an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximises benefits to people and communities while minimising impact on the environment.’
So, under the umbrella of ethical fashion we see clothes and accessories that may be one or several of the following:
- Locally produced
- Fairtrade certified or made following fair trade principles
- Made using environmentally friendly methods and materials
- Made using organic materials
- Vegetarian or animal free products
- Second-hand or recycled
In 1989 the Brundtland Commission gave what is now the widely accepted definition of the term ‘sustainable fashion’, which is ‘to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ and is referring to the social, environmental and commercial context in which products are made.
Finally, my favourite – SLOW fashion – is the antithesis of the fast, disposable fashion that our high streets are known for. According to www.notjustalabel.com it is a movement that represents all things “eco”, “ethical” and ‘green’. It’s all of the above but with the added emphasis on the consumer’s responsibility.
SAHEL Design products meet some of the above criteria but I have yet to find a catchy phrase for our main characteristic: commercial and cultural preservation of a family skill in danger of dying out. If you can think of one please let me know!
Here’s a video we made today about the importance that heritage plays in SAHEL Design. The voice over is that of a local griot, whose main job is to recite the names of his chief’s ancestors from memory.