Ethical + Sustainable: How We Identify As A Brand Doing Better
Sustainable and ethical are two words that are thrown around a lot, but did you know they aren’t regulated? Just like calling something “all natural,” there’s no real concrete definition or laws around what it takes to use these words.
So here we are to demystify and share what we mean and what we do to label ourselves a sustainable and ethical brand. Let’s start off with some definitions:
Sustainable: The definition of sustainable is something that can be maintained.
Ethical: The definition of ethical is something that pertains to or deals with morals.
Clothing production, by any means, uses energy, resources, water, fibers, etc. Our goal is to identify the biggest issues in the traditional fashion industry and to fix them and do them in a better way.
Before we talk about what we are doing, let’s just touch base on what the fast fashion industry is doing that we don’t agree with. The fast fashion industry produces too much, too quickly, using pesticide and chemical ridden materials, often using animal fibers where the animals are mistreated, sewn by people who are working in unsafe and unfair working conditions.
Here’s a break down of how we strive to do better and to be better:
1. Small Batch Production- If you aren’t familiar with this term, we wrote a whole blog post about it that you can read HERE! The basic idea is that you create a smaller amount of clothing. Instead of creating thousands upon thousands of the same tee, we create one hundred or two. Creating less means we create less waste.
2. Fewer Styles- If you’ve been a Miakoda customer or follower for a long time, you’ll notice we only have a limited number of styles that we create or restock each season. We create styles we hope will fill holes in your wardrobe and will fill a need for you guys! Putting out new styles every week or every month creates the idea that we constantly need new clothing…. which is totally untrue! We believe you should buy less but buy better, so that’s the business model we follow.
3. Sustainable Materials- We are very picky when it comes to what fabrics we want to use to make our garments. Traditional cotton requires tons of water, tons pesticides, and tons of chemicals. In addition, it requires lots of labor, so pretty much just like wearing plastic [and we all know plastic doesn’t break down and biodegrade]. We have a whole section on our website about what fabrics we use and why we choose to use them. You can check that out HERE.
4. NO Animal Fibers- Wool, fur, leather, silk, feathers, etc. You’ll never see any animal fibers in our garments. We are a 100% vegan owned and operated company. We choose to avoid animal fibers because so often animals are exploited, harmed, and killed for these materials. And animal agriculture [in most cases and in most big business operations] demands a lot of resources and in general not super sustainable.
5. Ethical Production- Sweatshops, unfair wages, paying people too little that they can’t afford to eat or live outside of work, unclean and unsafe working conditions, dangerous factories, abuse inside the work place—these are all things we just don’t vibe with. It might cost more to pay garment workers a fair living wage and to ensure that they have a safe work environment, but it’s 100% worth it and so important. We visit the factories that we work with regularly to ensure that they workers are treated and paid fairly. We have a whole blog post about ethical production that you can check out HERE.
When making business decisions, we ask ourselves “Does this action/decision negatively impact the planet, animals, or humans? Is there a better way for us to do this or a better option that we can implement or use instead?”
For us, ethical and sustainable fashion means creating clothing that takes every opportunity to protect our planet and it’s inhabitants. So although there are not laws regulating our ability to identify as an ethical and sustainable brand, we know that we are taking actions and making decisions that align with the morals and values of our brand and of ourselves.
Thank you for supporting our efforts to bring better and more conscious clothing to the world of fashion.