08 Mar ‘Eco’ and ‘Ethical’ – What does it all mean??
I’ve had alot of students contact me lately because they are doing assignments on this and they are completely confused!
I’d like to make clear what these terms mean to me. If you have any other opinions on what they mean to you, we’d love to hear your comments in the box below.
The word ‘eco’ is short for ecology. Ecology is the study of the interactions between organisms and their environment.
Therefore ‘eco’ friendly (or ‘ecology friendly’) is a term to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment.
When we talk about eco friendly clothing, we are talking about those companies which make it a point to minimise this damage by using fibres not grown or produced with damaging chemicals, and fabrics not coloured with harsh dyes and paints.
‘Ethical’ clothing to me refers to something very different. Ethical clothing is about treating to people who made the fabric or the garment with respect. This means fair pay, safe working conditions, a right to choose working hours, and a total ban on child labour.
So ‘Eco’ friendly clothing might mean:
-Clothing made of fibres such as organic cotton and hemp.
-Clothing that has been organically dyed with vegetables.
-Fabrics that use small amounts of precious water to grow, such as hemp and bamboo.
And ‘Ethical’ clothing might mean:
-Clothing that has a fair trade registration (they might show this on their swing tag) which means the people who sewed it have been paid fairly.