Why the Human Element is Key When Developing an Ethical Fashion Brand
The importance of ethical, sustainable fashion has risen to the fore, with McKinsey research indicating that 67 percent of consumers now consider sustainable materials to be a prime reason for purchasing fashion items. Consumers in the US are not only interested in discovering new ethical, sustainable fashion houses; they have put their money where their mouths are, indicating that they are willing to pay a higher price for this type of fashion. If you are starting a new ethical fashion business, then without a doubt you have invested time and resources in reducing your impact on the planet via the use of renewable energy and processes such as recycling and upcycling. However, don’t forget the human element. From your sales force right through to your marketing team, ethics should lead the way.
Choosing Ethical Manufacturers
When starting a small fashion brand, relying on manufacturers that share your vision is key. When considering different manufacturing companies for small businesses, ask to see their mission statements. Additionally, take a look at their commitments to renewable energy, fair working conditions, and making a positive impact on the local communities in the areas their business is located in. The fashion industry can have a notoriously negative impact on the environment, but you can escape these effects by relying on manufacturers that aim for zero carbon emissions, or those that offset the small footprints they create. Many specialize in natural, organic materials and processes that stop toxins from making their way to waterways and landfills.
Creating a Sustainable Sales Team
As your startup grows, you will undoubtedly need solid sales professionals to visit clients, network, and extend your brand awareness. Prioritize hiring professionals who have experience in sustainable endeavors, as well as experience in ethical fashion. The first team you hire is likely to train future sales recruits and to have good networks they can utilize to push your brand forward. Therefore, ensuring they share your values and believe in creating a balance between profit and sustainable use of resources, is essential.
Integrating Ethics into Your Corporate Culture
A considerable amount of a worker’s day is spent at work, which is why creating a culture that values teamwork and “doing the right thing by each other” is a must. Individuals can navigate many moral decisions on their own, but to build a well-knit, united team, the company must play a key role in prioritizing ethics. That is, not only should your workers be paid fairly and be offered a good work-life balance. They should also offer job-specific ethics training, cultivate an environment in which “failure” is seen as an opportunity for growth, and promote accountability and humility.
Ethics and sustainability are now core values that consumers are increasingly demanding. This is the case for a plethora of industries, including fashion. To start an ethical company, ensure you deal with ethical manufacturers, lead a sustainable, and make ethics a core value in your business.