Is my fashion ethical? This is the question that I ended up asking myself after receiving an email from a PR agency about a product launch recently.
I know a great deal of my readers would be rolling their eyes over the oxy-moronic juxtaposition of my question, but none of us would really have the answer. What I meant was out of all the products that we apply, put on or carry around with us, How many of us (the fashion enthusiasts) know what its impact going to be on the society ?or Where would the profits be going? This brought me to read about ethical fashion i.e. making socially conscious decisions when purchasing products. I ended up reading a great deal and realized that a simple buying decision ends up having butterfly effect having multifarious economic,social and even environmental implications(one of the reasons why ivory products are being fazed out).
Where the Baldia town garment factory blaze highlighted the lack of worker safety arrangements locally, internationally various issues such as water conservation, use of organic cotton and use of less pollutant mechanisms are being debated. Keeping in line the immense importance of such issues, a UK based socially responsible company called Fashion ComPassion launched 3 of its brand earlier this month at Ensemble Karachi. Ayesha Mustafa,the lady entrepreneur behind this idea laid foundation of this concern considering the plight of people across the world, and by using both her marketing acumen that she acquired while working at PepsiCo and also extensive research she went on to marketing ethical fashion products that not only looked good but aimed to increase the capacity and well-being of the people involved, had concerns for the community and also environment.
In her brief interview to the media she elaborated her belief in the fact that a simple fashion choices can exert greater positive influence of those involved in the work process, her organization makes sure the suppliers, artisans and down to beneficiaries of the profits go towards uplift of the less privileged across globe. In Pakistan she is working with United Nations’ World Food Program linking our indigenous women artisans for product development while ensuring adequate food supplies to the hungry.The launch event at ensemble was handled by Catalyst PR, was attended by many members of Karachi’s glitterati.
All three product ranges that were launched that day looked really chic and the quality was evident from exquisite craftsmanship. I guess its time for the Pakistani fashion customer to stand up and take notice about issues of ethical fashion.Because fashion may have a reputation of being shallow but you can’t deny that its influence runs deep.