The word “ethical” gets thrown around a lot in the textile industry. And, "ethical" can look very different from one company to the next. This might leave you wondering, with so many decisions to be made at a company, where is there room to actually choose to be sustainable and radical in practice?
The short answer: in every step from start to finish.
Here are a few key ways businesses can seek better, ethical options to grow their product and process in the industry.
1. The product. The product is a crucial place to start because it is the essential output of a company. For example, businesses can choose to use quality materials that last, therefore making it sustainable over multiple seasons.
2. The process. Setting up the product’s lifecycle from design, sourcing, production, and packaging can be time consuming and involve a lot of research. Businesses are able to actively choose partners that have similar values and strive for the same ethical standards that they believe in.
3. The people. Another way businesses can choose to be ethical is by knowing who is making their product and carrying it through the process. Having a relationship and putting a face and story behind the hands that make the product is an important ethical step to growing a business and discovering their own values as a company.
4. The purpose. Always ask “why.” Why has a business chosen to focus on ethical practices? The purpose should always be something bigger than the profit and losses. The values, motivation, and standards that are chosen is up to the company and what they have a heart for whether it be fair labor practices, creating sustainable jobs or giving to those that are in need.
It takes extra time, research and radical actions to carry out a company's values and dreams in an ethical manner, but just imagine the lasting impact these actions can have on customers, industries...even the whole world.