Fashion isn’t exactly an industry known for its commitment to sustainability—but it’s getting better. As consumers are becoming more aware of the need to be sustainable, so too are companies. We are moving away from an age where corporations and faceless people rule, and toward a time when people care about who a company is and how they are doing their part in society.
Like fair trade food, fair trade fashion is growing in popularity. The Ethical Fashion Forum is an organization dedicated to changing the core standards within the fashion industry, eliminating exploitation, hardship and environmental damage caused by supply chains. Instead, they envision a world where fashion contributes to communities in a positive and ethical way.
People Tree is a fashion organization registered with the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). Fair trade means buying goods at a fair price, but it’s also much more than that. It’s doing business with the end goal being to help people and promote sustainability, rather than to simply make a profit.
Emma Watson, the British actress made famous by her portrayal of Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger, collaborated with People Tree in recent years. She helped design collections, working with the group’s founder (Safia Minney) and designer (Misato) to choose colors, fabrics, and more. She even visited Bangladesh to see the collection being made by local artisans.
Photos by People Tree
“It was an incredible and life-changing experience—I really wish everyone had the chance to see the difference Fair Trade makes with their own eyes,” she said. “Fair Trade fashion comes from the villages—and provides a real alternative to working in a garment factory and the harsh environment of living in a slum.”