What is ethical manufacturing?

We’ve all heard terms like ‘ethical fashion’, ‘sustainable style’ and ‘eco-friendly fashion’. In recent years they have become overused and often misused. The vision and cause they represent is important – who wouldn’t want a fair and sustainable fashion industry who respects the environment and its workers? But it feels like they’ve lost their meaning. They are now marketing ‘buzz words’ used with the best intentions but often missing the true values. For example, ‘sustainable’ clothes are made from less environmentally impactful materials and processes but sustain the poor treatment of workers who are paid low wages and live in poverty.

So, as an ethical manufacturer how do we change the narrative while creating a positive impact on the world and the lives of our staff?

Manufacturers have a big impact on their community providing products for consumers and other businesses, but the environmental impact can be huge. The challenge for us as manufacturers is how to achieve an ethical status while improving processes such as eliminating waste to developing staff. Ethical manufacturing has many forms.

What is ethical manufacturing?

Ethical manufacturing is a holistic approach to the manufacturing process that focuses on good health for all involved.

We oversee and care about each area of our business and our own supply chain, prioritising the well-being of both customers and staff, as well as the environment in which they work, shop and source materials. We want to operate in the best interests of our workers and the health and happiness of our staff is a priority. We ensure they are working in a safe and fair environment and in turn, we benefit through a boost in productivity and staff retention.

Ethical production includes material and energy use. Our socks and accessories are designed to minimise the amount of waste produced in manufacturing and are packaged using recyclable and biodegradable materials.

Why is ethical manufacturing important?

Ethical production is important for staff, customers and environmental well-being, but it can also have significant benefits for businesses. By utilising sustainable processes and materials, we are ensuring that our future is secure. We provide a positive working environment which improves productivity and we continue the development of staff and their skills. A recent Oxford University study found that happy workers are 13% more productive than those who are unhappy in their workplace.

Sustainability and ethical manufacturing are also key to attracting customers. After doing some research we found that 95% of millennials said they were more likely to purchase from an ethical company. From a business perspective, it has clear financial benefits. Aligning our production, staff development and customer needs within a structure of ethical manufacturing can lead to improved quality, more productivity and increased revenue.

To find our more about ethical manufacturing and the campaign for a clean, safe and accountable fashion and textiles industry, visit Fashion Revolution’s website.

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