How To Sustain The World – The Compare Ethics Manifesto
When Compare Ethics was founded in 2018, it was with the purpose of positive systems change in mind. Fast fashion was climbing the ladder to become a top polluter at record speed and strikingly few initiatives were in place to tackle the worrying trend.
To map out the problem, we crafted the Compare Ethics Manifesto which recognised three primary culprits in the fashion industry, namely CO2 emissions, animal cruelty and unethical working conditions. Correspondingly, we set up the categories planet-friendly, socially good and animal cruelty-free to celebrate the forward thinking efforts of trailblazing ethical brands.
Mirroring the above, three facts form the cornerstone of the manifesto:
- Every second a lorry truck of textile waste is dumped or burned.
- An estimated 40.3 million people are in modern slavery today.
- Our animal species is in crisis. One million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction.
The pledge from Compare Ethics is to change the broken system by moving from a take-make-dispose to a take-make-reuse economy. We also take a strong stand to protect workers rights, no matter where in the world they are. Only brands who strive to back a living wage and safe working conditions are invited onto the Compare Ethics platform. Finally, we vow no unnecessary harm to animals and actively celebrate brands who regenerate species and their homes.
We believe that through a collective commitment to social fairness, transparency, traceability, recycling, carbon neutrality etc. will forge the circular economy needed to outmanoeuvre the UN’s gloomy warnings of irreversible global warming. Our objective is to explore the numerous and at times complex ways we can achieve that.
Why we do it
The UN has granted us little more than a decade to clean up our act to escape the point of no return. Should we decide to take the warning lightly and pursue current consumption patterns unabated, global warming will exceed the 1.5C rise making large swaths of the planet uninhabitable, an existential threat to life on earth.
Dirty consumption habits saturate most aspects of life in the majority of countries across the planet although certain economies and industries are certainly worse.
The Guardian recently revealed a list of the world’s 20 biggest carbon emitters. Without exception, all were coal, oil and petroleum corporations with a collective impact of 35% of all energy-related carbon dioxide and methane worldwide since 1965.
Trotting zestfully behind these traditional masters of pollution, the fashion industry is making a lot of noise in its feast of fast fashion with daily accelerations through mass-outfitted celebrities and Instagram tags like #ootd, adding fuel to the fire of a world already in flames.
The fashion industry accounts for 8% of global climate impact, a number expected to rise to a quarter of total emissions by 2050. The industry has had a fascinating ability to dispose of seasonal trends in favour of weekly collections allowing consumers to revamp wardrobes to the hinges come off.
Recognising the fashion industry’s love for the gas pedal, Compare Ethics pledges a non-compromising commitment to change the industry by advocating for supply chain transparency and ethically sustainable production. Aggregating brands who abide by those standards and values in one place and ranking them according to intelligent ethical tags in turn empowers consumers to make the choices they have so far been denied. The tags exist to continuously incentivise brands to refine working methods and standards and to encourage the wider industry to adopt fairer and more sustainable frameworks.
To expand the impact, Compare Ethics is committed to educate and engage with consumers through informative and educational content to sow the seeds for transforming a crippled industry. Because we simultaneously acknowledge that the problems exist far beyond fashion, we aim to contextualise impact and solutions.
Protest with your purchases
Fortunately, the industry and wider society are witnessing a heartening spike in conscious consumers who no longer accept products and services that fail to act on climate change, particularly so on their own role in it.
In the absence of any impactful government initiatives, these consumers have embraced their individual and transformational power their choices holds. They have understood that demand governs supply and that protesting can be done through spending.
While we always encourage people to not buy, the products we do buy should be sustainable. We encourage consumers to protest with their purchases by putting their money where their values lie. That means backing brands who support planet-friendly, animal cruelty-free and socially good products to ensure our world continues to thrive way beyond 2030.