Conventional Fashion Versus Fairtrade Fashion

What is the difference between 'conventional' fashion and 'fairtrade fashion'?

People Tree, that wonderful UK ecofashion label, sum it up nicely.

Conventional fashion:

  • is capital intensive
  • has short lead time (and is always machine produced)
  • is negotiated for low prices, quick turn around and latest payments
  • disregards the environment, has high use of synthetics and is often not compliant with environmental laws
  • characterised by regularly changing suppliers
  • the factory is expected to go the extra mile

By contrast Fairtrade Fashion:

  • is people intensive, and focuses on value adding and handcraft skills
  • has a long lead time (sometimes, but not always hand produced)
  • the factory and the label agree to prices together and is transparent in cost breakdowns
  • practices best practice environmental stewardship, uses organic cotton, safe dyes and is carbon neutral
  • establishes a long term relationship between the supplier and label
  • invests in capacity building of the supplier -- support, design, market supply, QC and market exposure.

This is why Audrey Blue will always be a fairtrade label -- no matter what challenges this poses for us in bringing you our suit project.