Ethical clothing: Saving the planet comes with exceptions


What’s more important—looking trendy or saving the planet? For most people, I hope the answer is saving the planet. But that choice isn’t always accessible. 

According to Good Trend, clothing is considered ethical if its production focuses on reducing harm to workers as well as the planet.

In recent years, online clothing sites like SHEIN and ROMWE gained popularity. They offer stylish and cheap clothing for men and women with sizes up to 4X. However, they are not ethically sourced. 

Ethically sourced clothing is not accessible to everyone. Plus-size women struggle most to find both unethically and ethically sourced clothing due to price and size restrictions.

Because women’s clothing sizes vary immensely depending on brand, material and fit, sizes 10 and above are often considered plus-size. This is a problem because according to Racked, 68% of American women are a size 14 or above. 

Plus-sized clothing generally comes with a hefty price tag. For example, Torrid is a plus-size store that offers t-shirts at a price of $39. Most college students would rather spend $39 on more important things such as food or rent. 

In addition to plus-size clothing being expensive, it is typically tailored toward older women. This leaves plus-size teens wondering where they can get trendy clothes at affordable prices. Often, young plus-size women will resort to unethical clothing brands. 

Unethically sourced clothing is significantly cheaper, which allows the buyer to purchase multiple articles of clothing for the price of one ethically sourced item.

The solution is for ethically sourced clothing to be size inclusive and cheaper. A large majority of ethical clothing brands only go up to sizes L or XL. Therefore, by increasing the size range, more plus-size women will be able to purchase ethically sourced clothing. Additionally, the price of ethically sourced clothing needs to drastically decrease before people will even consider purchasing them.

Giving everyone access to ethically sourced clothing puts us one step closer to saving our planet.