Eco-conscious, eco-friendly and recycling collections: the ecological awareness of fashion retailers is on the rise, and brands are well aware of this. But is it enough to be defined as "ethical" or "responsible"?
At Elia, we're convinced that being a responsible brand isn't just about offering eco-friendly products or products made from recycled materials... We'd like to explain why today.
We sometimes forget that there are real people behind our clothes...
One of the symbols of fast-fashion abuse is, of course, the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in 2013, where over 1,130 people died. This factory made clothes for the big brands we all know.
It should be noted that the main victims of this industry are women. In fact, they account for 85% of workers in textile factories. They are paid a pittance and work in deplorable conditions.
We've also heard a lot about the exploitation of the Uyghurs in the news in recent years. This people, who are persecuted and repressed in China, are also reduced to slavery, which benefits the textile industry. Indeed, 20% of cotton production takes place in the Xinjiang region, where the majority of Uyghurs live. Cotton is one of the main materials used to make our clothes. Every stage in the supply chain can be the result of forced labor by Uyghurs.
Several NGOs have called on the textile industry to stop sourcing from the Xinjiang region, and some countries have decided to stop importing goods that are potentially the result of forced labor.
And what about our health?
Polyester, polyamide, non-organic cotton... All these synthetic materials are not without danger! Some are derived from petroleum. Non-organic cotton is grown with GMOs and treated with pesticides. In addition to polluting the soil, it's therefore very harmful to our health, as well as to that of the producers. As you can imagine, there are several stages in the garment manufacturing process. And during these various stages, many processes use chemicals... Which is why it's so important to be informed about the materials used in our garments, and how they are treated! That's why we've chosen to offer periods knickers that are perfectly adapted and healthy for the bodies of menstruating women and men.
Modeling: a mirror of our society's demands?
We also believe that being responsible means tackling society's problems. Indeed, the problem with modeling today is that it contributes to the cult of thinness. Even if many brands are now starting to be more inclusive by showing all types of women, many still swear by a single body type and skin color, and use retouching to excess. In fact, Victoire Dauxerre talks about this very well in the podcast Nouveau Modèle, "former model never skinny enough".
So even though it's a big step forward for major retailers to start offering more environmentally responsible collections ecologicalwe still urge you to find out what you're buying, how and, above all, by whom your clothes are produced.
At Elia, we're all about transparency and Made In France. In fact, you can find all the information you need on our production, materials, labels and certifications!