Background

Ethical Fashion

Ethical Fashion is the name for a new economic paradigm to be implemented within the textile industry so as to help microproducers stemming from particularly vulnerable communities in developing countries to come out of extreme poverty. It rests on three pillars: the respect of the main fair trade principles, especially those concerning workers' rights and labor conditions, the development and appropriation of ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies), and the creation of a new value chain that would shift the weight of the increased cost resulting from these changes on the retailers and the end consumers in Europe, North America and Japan. Indeed, this fashion is primarily aimed at consumers from industrialized countries. Its motto is "Not charity, Just work".

A program aiming at promoting and developing this kind of fashion in those countries has been launched by the International Trade Center, in collaboration with public institutions from Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Japan as well as international NGOs. Called The Ethical Fashion Initiative, it has already witnessed the establishment of private-public partnerships between worldwide renowned designers and consortiums representing governmental and economic stakeholders in Kenya and Uganda since 2008. Technical and professional trainings have been implemented so that participants can gain the skills as well as the flexibility and reactivity required to join the train of global trade and improve their living standards. It is now moving on to a second phase with its introduction in Ghana and the setting up of the first partnerships with Swiss wholesalers, whose aim is to bring ethical fashion clothes to a wider public.

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