FOXTROT : What if we stop consuming Fast Fashion? Will people in underdeveloped countries live even more poorly? We hear this argument a lot from people in the fashion industry. What is the truth? What should we do, as sustainable brands?
ELIZABETH CLINE : This is a great question! As consumers, it is not our responsibility to buy a product that we’re uncomfortable with just to keep some exploitative global labor system up and running. That’s just craziness. Consumers are supposed to buy the products we want, need, desire and believe in. And if fashion brands or politicians are worried about that choice, they can change the way they produce those products. I think that the best way that we as individuals can change exploitative factory conditions is through citizenship, voting and activism so that we have better policies and trade agreements. As consumers, we simply have very limited control over what happens in factories overseas and can’t really impact that process through our shopping choices. We can however elect leaders who will better police brands who produce their clothes overseas and write trade agreements in a way that protect workers and the environment.