15 Nov The Business of Ethical Fashion
Luxury lifestyle magazine Alister & Paine interview LUPE Company Director, Tansy Baigent, on the business of ethical fashion.
“Being an ethical fashion business is about believing in a better world, it’s about choosing to see business differently; seeking possibility rather than profit.”
The following is an interview with LUPE’s Company Directory, Tansy Baigent from 14th November 2017.
Being an ethical fashion business is about believing in a better world, it’s about choosing to see business differently; seeking possibility rather than profit.
Fashion at its’ essence is a combination of creativity and luxury which inspires people and speaks to their desires. To fulfil this desire ethically is to respond with originality & resourcefulness with a superior product which encourages purchasing quality over quantity; balances desire with consideration & responsibility, and encourages a holistic perception of fashion and the development of unique styles.
Working in the fashion world requires foresight, creativity and confidence as on a daily basis you are needing to be meeting and fulfilling desires. But ethical fashion, vintage fashion, these open up whole new areas of expectation that need fulfilling and perceptions that need informing. From sourcing jewelry to fashion shoots, styling & management, it all requires experience, foresight and 100% commitment to an ethical ethos.
We need to know what we’re buying and why we’re buying it.
We need to make sure that all our packaging is recycled or recyclable, and we need to be informing people that for us being ethical is determined on our rerouting of products from the waste stream, and is an alternative to harmful new production. To run a successful business, you need to familiarize yourself with every aspect so that you ensure your ethos is always bring met. We believe in what we do, and are proud of being a completely sustainable brand; a hard feat in the world of today.
To be an ethical fashion business is to also vehemently defend the position that being ‘ethical’ should be the standard, not the deviant. We shouldn’t have to seek out brands who care but to avoid those that don’t. Being ethical doesn’t have to mean restriction or frugality, but diversity, innovation, and redefinition.
Fast fashion is a creation by retail giants to hasten the pace at which new styles are made available to the market in order to maximize sales from each season. But what is being lost in the pursuit for quantity over quality, is a true sense of value.
The more available a product, the less worth we attribute to it.
This abundant and relentless production is not only unsustainable in terms of resource-use, & unethical in terms of exploitation, it encourages unsustainable patterns of consumer behavior; creating a throw-away culture, which leaves a wake of waste as products are cast aside after just one or two uses.
Ethical businesses develop & create kinder products in order to drive positive change. They seek to put value back into products, to encourage a slowing down of production and consumption in order to pursue sustainable market practice ands and customers who see the benefits of selecting quality over quantity, as they seek to purchase products made to last.
I would love to see a future with physical ethical marketplaces which allow consumers to easily meet their ethical fashion desires, and so the more that consumers continue to purchase from ethical shops the more viable this dream.
Be aware of your power to drive change through your consumer choices.
It’s important to seek out businesses with a genuine ethos of care for people and planet. This often requires the business to have begun with this aim rather than converting, as streamlined processes of harm can be difficult to untangle. Purchasing vintage or preloved is always considered ethical as you are investing in reuse and recycling. Purchasing from new ethical brands requires an in-depth exploration into the source of each product, the treatment of employees, the energy-use of the company and the transportation requirements.
Setting up a business and creating a brand is a challenging prospect for anyone, it takes time, commitment, investment, motivation and belief. To be able to commit this to your company you need to love what you do what you love. And to love your business it needs to fulfil you, be an extension of you, and live up to the expectations you can control such as its’ ethical structure and its ability to drive positive change.
Find the original interview here.