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Finding Ethics In The Clothing Business.

March 12, 2020 by  
Filed under Business, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( If you consider yourself a moral, ethical person, or at least someone who strives to live a more virtuous life, then you must represent that in how you do business, as well. Market backlash and the ease of giving feedback online is making companies across the country look at how ethical their methods are, and this goes for the clothing industry, too. If you’re in fashion and clothes production, here are a few ways you could make your business more ethical.

Know how your clothes are being made

One of the biggest concerns in the fashion world right now is the widespread use of “sweatshop labor.” Whether literal or close enough to be confused for it, it has had a huge impact on ethical clothing lines like Beyonce’s Ivy Park brand. She was apparently not aware of the implications of its production methods, but the brand suffered a hit regardless. It’s important to ensure you’re not working with any manufacturers or suppliers who get caught up in similar scandals.

Know what your clothes are made of

Aside from how the clothes are made, what they are made of is becoming increasingly important. This is because more and more people are concerned about how the products they buy affect the environment. Sustainable fashion is becoming much more achievable thanks to things like Tencel brand fabrics. Fabrics that can be grown without much waste, and can biodegrade, leaving very little waste behind, could be the future face of green fashion. Similarly, minimal and recyclable packaging have been helping companies make their operations a lot more environmentally-friendly as of late.

Know how your clothes are delivered

Another question of sustainability and eco-friendliness in the business is to address how logistics work in your business. If you deliver clothes, then delivering it in a way that maximizes the use of cargo space and minimizes fuel use could be essential to keeping your operations energy efficient. GPS-powered logistics systems that track driver routes, gas usage, and behaviors can help you streamline not just the waste in the business, but also the costs of running a fleet.

Know how to treat your employees

You have a responsibility to be ethical not only in how you produce and source your clothes but also how you treat the team that sells them and helps you run the business. All too often, employers only do as much as they have to meet their employee rights (and often not only that much), but there are ethical responsibilities worth considering in the employer-employee relationship, as well. Treating them fairly and with respect, and understanding their needs and how your company can help them address them with benefits is often more highly sought after than monetary compensation alone.

Naturally, what makes a business ethical depends largely on your values. It’s important to know what you stand for and ensure that your business stands with you. Compromise is always tempting, but if you undermine your brand values, you can end up hurting your brand image with the customers as well.

Staff Writer; Sherry Shaw

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