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Talking strategy: how ethical is your brand?
published in Issue 39, June 2018
Consumers care about the story behind the products they buy, and they are increasingly demanding clothing which has been manufactured in an ethical way—using environmentally sustainable materials and by workers who are treated fairly by their employers. However, many brands find it difficult to identify and locate good manufacturers with whom they can work, and there are many grey areas for brands to navigate when creating an ethical brand. This report outlines some of the findings resulting from an interview by Textiles Intelligence with Gus Bartholomew—the co-founder of Supplycompass, a company which specialises in helping brands to work with socially responsible suppliers—and it examines: the circular economy and the principle of "reduce, reuse, recycle"; certification; labelling; and support provided by ethical standards organisations and initiatives such as the Ethical Fashion Forum (EFF), the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI), Made-By, and the World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO). The report also examines some of the strategies followed by four ethical brands—namely H&M, Know The Origin, Páramo, and Unifi—and it provides three examples of online platforms which help consumers to find ethical brands, namely Good on You, Our Good Brands and What's Your Legacy?
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