“It’s not that people don’t care, they just don’t know.”
This is what a Rapanui Clothing rep says about “unethical clothing.”
So, how unethical are our clothes?
I was pretty disappointed both with my lack of knowledge and (once again) with our purchasing practices when I looked into it. From water and chemical use, water pollution, fiber choice, bleaching, dyeing, finishing and shipping of our clothing… each step of the process has its own environmental implications and dangers. While this is true of many industries, it is also true that there are other options.
So what are they?
Consignment, to begin, really is a GREAT option. It requires a bit more patience and persistence, but it can REALLY pay off. Not just in the sense that you can find clothes at no additional polluting cost, but it pays off in the sense that these clothes come to you at a FRACTION of the original cost!
Aside from pre-made clothes, imagine a company with 110% transparency. They tell you where, how, and with what resources their products are made. They make environmental puns, educate customers, and are super hip.
These are rare, to be sure. Many have tried, many have gotten stuck somewhere around 75% transparency. It might be all sunshine and rainbows… until you get to the fine print.
Anyway, I don’t do this too often, but I wanted to take the opportunity to recognize Rapanui Clothing company for their excellent environmental stewardship and retail ethics! I wish them the very best of success because well, imagine the potential if everyone announced things like,
This Organic Hoody was made in a wind-powered, Fairwear Foundation audited factory and is printed on 100% Organic Cotton. Embroidered and hand-finished on the Isle of Wight.
Cool, I know. But they don’t stop there:
Certified 100% Organic Cotton 3-ply fleece hoody (310g/m2) / Fairwear Foundation Audited / Low Carbon / Hand printed & finished in the UK / Cool wash, Hang dry
Hang dry is right!
Anyway, thanks Rapanui for being such a good role model.
Here’s to being aware,
PS: they’re on Twitter!