Setting aside the obvious targets such as fur, there are constantly stories in the media about fast fashion and cheap clothes which come at a price; either the environment or the welfare of those making the garments.
At RaspberryPlum we have a deeply held belief that fashion can and should be fun, and our children’s clothes certainly reflect that, but they also need to reflect our beliefs, which are that even though the market for conscious clothing is not vast, we aim to stay true to our values as a brand. There needs to be something deeper to RaspberryPlum than just looking good or ‘cute’.
The fashion industry employs millions of people around the world; some in the sewing factories and others growing and processing the raw materials used to create clothes. Even more are employed by retailers to sell the clothes once they are produced. This vast group of people need to be treated well in order for fashion to be called ethical, or conscious, in our opinion.
Remember the fuss over T-Shirt gate recently? The Fawcett Society worked alongside Elle and Whistles to produce a slogan tee publicising a women’s equality and rights campaign. The charity had been told that the tees were produced in the UK but took their eye off the ball and before they realised that the “This is what a feminist looks like” tees were being produced in Mauritius by migrant workers who were working in terrible conditions, while sleeping 16 to a dormitory – it was too late and the media had got hold of it, resulting in explanations and red faces..
The planet is suffering at the hands of the fashion industry too – it’s been reported that the Aral Sea, the world’s fourth largest lake, is now just a puddle, after being decimated by commercial cotton irrigation. This isn’t the only example of fast fashion plundering the environment and creating a huge carbon footprint.
It’s important to us that we make sure all of our gorgeous children’s clothes are sustainably made, long-lasting and fairly traded, as well as being ‘cute’ to look at. That’s why our collection is made in Serbia, where we want to help boost the once-thriving apparel industry.
We source all of our materials in Europe and we’re passionate that every member of our team feels appreciated and enjoys their work. We pay our workers at least the national minimum if not more, make sure that they take regular breaks and pay overtime too. There’s no mass production at RaspberryPlum; we have just five seamstresses working on our collection who we consider part of our happy team.
As the T-Shirt gate debacle shows, there’s more to ethical fashion that just a slogan…