Fashioning sustainability: drawing lessons from the fair trade coffee industry
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 18:40 by Anne Pringle
Due to the fashion industry’s global reach, spanning many jurisdictions, regulations are difficult to implement, monitor and enforce. Strict voluntary initiatives that focus on raising consumer awareness, thereby creating greater demand for eco fashion have greater potential to lead to reform within the fashion industry. To do so, voluntary initiatives must include clear labeling of ‘eco’ products and designer input, and include strict guidelines for company and designer standards. Standards must take the entire life cycle of a garment into consideration. Fashion can apply lesson from the fair trade coffee industry by appealing to consumers based on ethics and environmental responsibility through a trusted consumerfacing label. Fair trade was successful, in part, due to their recognizable label. Fair trade type certifications are most often business to consumer facing and provide consumers with the environmental and social information on the benefits of purchasing fair trade. Fair trade certification models have capitalized on large retailer involvement, allowing certifications to become mainstreamed and therefore more accessible for consumers.