02.Buying ethically made clothes
For Australian consumers wanting to shop ethically, the first port of call is the price tag, says Paula Rogers, an international fashion supply chain consultant. “If you go and buy a $3 T-shirt, common sense would say someone hasn’t been paid a whole pile to make it.”
While studies suggest a majority of consumers would be willing to pay more for ethically produced clothes, brands won’t change without commercial incentive. “They’re in business, not in social enterprise,” says Rogers.
Buying ethically made clothes: a checklist
- Don’t buy clothes at rock-bottom prices. Think about how much work has gone into the garment - is the price tag fair?
- Write to your favourite brands (see Clothing brands in the spotlight for what to ask). Also post on their social media.
- Ask sales assistants for details.
- Use ethical report cards to learn about brands:
- Shop with certified brands.