Why support ethical brands during a worldwide pandemic?
Okay, so nothing feels familiar at the moment. Your office has been replaced by your kitchen table. Your yoga studio is a mat in your bedroom. Drinks with the girls means homemade margaritas over a video call. What might have mattered to us a few weeks ago seems much less important now.
We’ve seen that in times of crisis, sustainable and ethical issues slip out of the global conscience. So, now more than ever, ethical brands need our help.
Here are some reasons why we should be supporting ethical brands during this time of crisis (if we have the means).
Fast fashion isn’t fair
Since the spread of COVID-19, the fast fashion industry has proven once again that it’s broken, outdated and needs replacing.
As stores closed and sales dropped, most fast fashion retailers rushed to protect themselves at the expense of the people in their supply chain. We’ve heard countless reports from countries like Bangladesh and Cambodia of orders canceled or postponed and refusal to pay for raw materials purchased or work completed.
It’s estimated that 1.2 million garment workers are already affected, whether that’s losing their job, having their wages docked or being furloughed. These are mostly women, who already make just half the living wage.
The right way
The good news is some retailers are doing the right thing. They’re paying in full for the orders they’ve placed. Some are ensuring that every worker in their supply chain receives a living wage and sick pay for the duration of the crisis. Some CEOs are sacrificing their own pay to make sure employees still have a job.
Many businesses are making donations to relief funds in the countries they operate in, which are likely to be hardest hit by the virus. It’s these brands we should be supporting.
For many of us, this pandemic might be the encouragement we need to kick the fast fashion habit.
As we adjust to a slower pace of life where board games and books are king, and staying in is the new going out, we’re finding new values and uncovering old ones.
Many of us are baking, doing crafts and writing letters. In other words, finding joy in simple pleasures and slow rewards.
Away from the hectic pace of modern life, we’ll find the time to sort through our stuff, root out treasured items, make use of what we’ve already got. And, without access to the churn of consumerism, we’ll learn to love things for longer.
Then, when we do shop, we’ll only buy what we really need, what we know we’ll love.
Our news feeds are full of stories of balcony singalongs, key workers making huge sacrifices, and acts of selflessness between friends and strangers.
We’ll emerge from this crisis with a stronger sense of community. We’re gaining a greater understanding of our ties to each other across borders and our responsibility to the rest of humanity to ensure that everyone is treated with equal respect.
We’ll become more compassionate consumers. This time, rather than witness a downturn in the ethical economy, this will be the moment it blooms into the mainstream.
And that’s why we should continue to support ethical brands through this global pandemic.
Stay safe and keep in touch on @azneo.official!