Ethical fashion focuses on a socially and environmentally conscious approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing. It encourages innovative sustainable products and empowers the consumer to become informed about potentially far-reaching benefits to society and to consider how their choices affect the outcomes of their actions.
Such social and environmental consciousness has manifested itself in the international and national fashion industry through a donation of percentage of sales of certain products to a charitable cause. Fashion designers have introduced eco-conscious methods and environmentally friendly materials and socially responsible methods of production. Celebrities, models, and designers such as Stella McCartney and Bono have also publicly endorsed and released ethical fashion lines. According to the May 2007 Vogue, sustainable [and ethical] fashion appears not to be a short-term trend, but one that could last multiple seasons.
Popular denim label Nudie Jeans develop organic denim, both out of 100% organic cotton and as blended yarn, where they blend in organic cotton into the normal production. Every step of the production follows detailed and accurate rules that makes it organic denim. The cotton comes from organic production, and the spinning, dyeing and finishing of the yarn is also carried out according to ecological procedures. Making use of ecological stuff, like potato starch and pre-reduced indigo, any kind of chemical stuff is excluded from the schedule of operation, in order to respect these principles to 100%.
The term was promoted by the UK government and is too general according to one ethical fashion definition, with buyers and sellers preferring "vegan", "made in a welfare state" (usually expressed as "made in..." and the name of a country), "organic" or "fair trade", which are much more clearly-defined.
Fashion label Gorman has released an organic collection featuring sustainable yarns and fabrics, with donations being made to Friends of the Earth. They have vowed to “no longer consider a new supplier if they don’t have an environmental policy”. As stated on the Gorman website, “[We] are forcing other companies to re-think the way they do business and we are seeing the effect flow on, broad and wide, much further than the fashion industry.”