Blending upcycling and Fair Trade fashion can bring numerous benefits to both the fashion industry and society as a whole. Here are some reasons why combining these two approaches is important:
Sustainable Resource Management: Upcycling involves repurposing discarded materials or products to create something new and of value. By incorporating upcycling into Fair Trade fashion, we can reduce waste and minimize the consumption of new resources. This approach helps conserve energy, water, and raw materials, leading to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion industry. Our Global Mamas jewelry is all made from discarded glass bottles and then hand painted.
Social Responsibility: Fair Trade fashion aims to promote ethical practices, ensuring that workers involved in the production process receive fair wages, safe working conditions, and other essential rights. By integrating upcycling into Fair Trade, we can extend these benefits to artisans and workers involved in the upcycling process. This helps create a more equitable and socially responsible fashion ecosystem, again Global Mamas is exceptional example of this.
Global Mamas has made an active decision to incorporate eco-friendly practices while positively impacting the lives of hundreds of African women. Beyond the sound fair trade principle practices, like fair wages and no child labor, that are required of them as guaranteed members of The World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), each year they continue to proactively look for ways to make earth-friendly improvements to our production methods.
To date, 60 % of the Global Mamas product line is made of upcycled or recycled materials. From recycling glass bottles for their bead jewelry to crafting accessories made from excess fabric like their jewelry cases, their products are made with the environment and zero waste in mind.
Unique and Creative Designs: Upcycling encourages innovation and creativity. By combining upcycling with Fair Trade fashion, designers have the opportunity to create unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect their artistic vision while respecting ethical standards. This fusion allows for the development of fashion items with distinctive aesthetics, giving consumers a wider range of sustainable and ethical choices. In the photo under, the smock and caftan are made from upcycled saris, the necklace is made from acai seeds.
Consumer Awareness and Education: Blending upcycling with Fair Trade fashion raises awareness among consumers about the environmental and social impacts of the fashion industry. It helps educate individuals about the importance of responsible consumption and highlights alternative options that are sustainable, ethical, and aesthetically appealing. This increased awareness can drive positive change by encouraging consumers to make more conscious fashion choices.
Circular Economy: Upcycling is an integral part of the circular economy, which aims to eliminate waste and promote the continuous use of resources. By incorporating upcycling into Fair Trade fashion, we create a system that supports the longevity of products and reduces the need for new production. This shift towards a circular economy helps reduce the environmental burden caused by the fashion industry and contributes to a more sustainable future.
Image credit: www.freepik.com
Overall, blending upcycling and Fair Trade fashion allows us to address both environmental and social concerns within the fashion industry. It promotes sustainable practices, empowers workers, encourages creativity, and educates consumers, ultimately fostering a more responsible and conscious approach to fashion.