This week sees the launch of a major new Ethical Fashion Calendar to promote and bring together the various events, campaigns and products which seek to take an ethical approach to fashion.
The Calendar includes exhibitions and fashion shows around the world, as well as occasions such as Fairtrade Fortnight, campaigning talks and the ethical presence at more mainstream events such as London Fashion Week.
It has been launched by the Ethical Fashion Forum, a not-for-profit network of ethical fashion businesses and supporters which “aims to develop a collaborative movement which will transform social and environmental standards in the fashion industry within a decade”.
They work on issues including workers’ rights, trade tariffs, chemicals, sustainability and media impact.
Amongst their achievements so far, the Forum cite their contribution to successful attempts to raise wages in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi. They also seek to increase the profile of ethical fashion in the media and say that they have reached over 1000 fashion industry professionals through “seminars and masterclasses focused on how fashion can change lives”.
The businesses and organisations promoting their events on the Calendar clearly hope that it will help ethical consumers to discover products and campaigns that they would otherwise have missed. The Calendar for February 2010 includes events as far apart as Copenhagen, New York and Bristol, as well as many in London.
Some of the more unusual events combine business and campaigning. A “Burlesque Pantease” on 27 February will promote “Pants to Poverty” and raise money to support children exploited in cotton seed production.
The market for ethical fashion in the UK is currently said to stand at around £175million.
The Ethical Fashion Calendar can be found at http://www.ethicalfashionforum.com/calendar .