What does it mean to be ethical for the fashion industry?


When we think of ethical fashion we often think about the dangerous working conditions and possible exploitation of workers to meet the demands of overconsumption, but did you know that ethical fashion encompasses more than just production? The fashion industry is comprised of four categories; design, production, retail and purchasing, and each has their own accountability when it comes to ethics.


It all starts with design. Ethical design starts with how a garment comes together. Part of our commitment to being an ethical brand is caring for not only the people affected by our brand, but also the environment. For SELFISH swimwear, it means designing our swimwear with recycled fibre fabrics. Not only does this allow for more sustainable practice, but it also allows us to partner with a company that contributes to the social and financial development of local communities. 


For most consumers, ethical fashion means ethical production. At SELFISH swimwear, we pride ourselves in ensuring a safe workspace and a fair wage for everyone involved with producing our products. For our designer, Naomie Caron, it’s been essential for her to keep production local to ensure the quality and rights of workers. While there is a common misconception that anything made overseas is unethical, we recognize that unethical production happens in North America too. We are proud to have the capacity to keep our production and subcontractors local.


Here at SELFISH swimwear, we believe an ethical consumer is an educated consumer and that all starts with the point of purchase. We are proud to partner with retailers that share our passion for ethical consumption. Through our shared passion we are better able to educate our customers. Ethical retailers are those who are mindful of where their garment comes from. They know that ethical manufacturing is more than just a selling point, it’s a community based on empowering the people who not only wear our clothes, but those who make our clothing as well.


This is the part where you come in! From design to retail, every step of the ethical fashion is done with the end goal of being purchased and loved. The best way to be an ethical consumer is to be an informed one. If ethical shopping is new to you, here are some of our intro tips:

  • Ask brands about whether or not they have a commitment to ethical production and how they ensure their practices are fair.
  • Delve into your own purchasing decisions. Are you making excuses to buy a certain garment (i.e price or accessibility) or is this a piece you can genuinely love for multiple seasons? Is the garment well made? Will it stand the test of time?

Remember, your purchasing decision is also your power! The brands and businesses you chose to support set the trend for future production. If more consumers spend their hard earned money on ethically sourced fashion, then the fashion industry will meet that demand.