The word ‘ethical’ used to turn many consumers away but now this word has finally gained momentum in the fashion industry. With more and more news about the dire situations many workers in factories overseas have to endure, consumers are now more attentive about what they wear. They no longer want to wear ‘fast fashion’, as they have become more aware of the damages it causes the environment. They no longer want to wear skin and fur of animals that have been tortured. Fashion, consumers are realising, is not just what you wear, but who you are.
With James&Co, I wanted to achieve unique craftsmanship, fair production and raw and original ideas. For me, ethical fashion isn’t just about fashion but it is about fashion with purpose and meaning. This is why it’s on the rise. Too many times, ethical fashion was perceived to be of a low value, when ethical actually means that brands are giving more priority to the people who make the clothes, about their wages, human rights, their health and safety – and the planet.
Just recently, I was on a visit to Pakistan to meet our manufactures, Mukhtar and Sons led by Adeel Mukhtar. It is very important for me, and my brand, to offer a product that is ethical and sustainable through ensuring transparent supply chain and ethical manufacturing. I work very closely with Adeel to ensure solid ethical practices are being upheld and I documented every step. I was proud of Adeel and his team’s dedication and commitment to James&Co’s brand.
I do have to say, while ethical fashion is on the rise and gaining popularity, there are imposters who seek to profit oby labelling their clothing as ‘ethical’, thus severely undermining the greater purpose of ethical fashion. To gain the trust of James&Co’s consumers, I always place myself on the forefront of the brand. I intend to make many more visits to suppliers in the future and hope it makes consumers consider the impact of their purchase, where and how it was made and who it impacts.