Adili ethical fashion vs consumer fashion sweatshops

Adili ethical fashion vs consumer fashion sweatshops

Sim Scavazza is the former Brand Director of high-street ladyfashion uberstore Miss Selfridge, so she knows what she’s talking about. And if she’s now joined ethical fashion emporium Adili, does it mean that ethical awareness in fashion could finally become a mainstream reality? Mookychick has a chat with Sim to learn more.

Can you tell us a bit about what happens when you get a lack of ethics in the fashion industry?

Simply put: Any stores that specialise in cheap, disposable, faddish fashion…

Such addictively cheap clothes – but often so badly made. And so unnecessary. And, who knows, potentially made by tiny fingers. What made you decide to bring ethical fashion into the foreground?

Having children and needing to take care of them properly made me a more compassionate person. It made me think more deeply about others and the harm that can be caused if we don’t take resposibility for our actions.

If you don’t mind us saying, you’re a big name in fashion (the former Brand Director of Miss Selfridge, to name but one of the strings to your bow) so it’s great you’re doing more than paying lipservice to the eradication of sweatshop mentality. Do you feel like one of the pioneers in this area?

Yes, I feel like I’m on one of those wagon trains in the wild west… moving into new territories! I believe anyone that has taken a step from the commercial high street to the eco sector is riding alongside me. It’s a really exciting time and great fun to be involved in, though it isn’t easy. The movement needs time to be able to develop and grow. The more the shopper is aware of the issues surrounding fast,cheap fashion, the more she will want to change things through action and put pressure on those retailers engaging in bad practice.

But how can ethical fashion compete with the tantalising throwaway cheapness of bargain uberstores like TK Maxx and Primark?

It’s getting there! Ethical fashion didn’t start off as appealing as it should be and that is why I have joined – to help change that, and to find the more fashionable and stylish eco labels and get them on the site. We all want to look good and ethical fashion doesn’t/won’t work if it doesn’t look good. It has to become a credible alternative to fast fashion so we are working on peoples’ attitudes and trying to inspire them into trying something new. I know change is a hard thing for many people, but the more we talk, the more we learn and the more changes we can make for the better. Being ethical is a lifestyle choice. It’s not about being virtuous – rather, it’s about being more thoughtful and considered when purchasing goods. The question to ask yourself is: do I really need to add this to my already bulging wardrobe?

What would you say to fashion-loving girls who want to do both – a bit of cheap dirty fun and a modicum of ethics?

Go for it! Everyone has got to start somewhere – whatever works for you. Adili isn’t about preaching to people but encouraging shoppers to take first steps by making it easy to find and purchase ethical brands. It is by each of us making small changes that we will make a collective difference. One person changing their whole life won’t change the world.

What’s the mission statement of Adili?

Adili is a one-stop-shop for eco fashion, beauty and lifestyle. We are working towards becoming a global, ethical lifestyle brand and will be expanding our ranges into new areas and offering fascinating information, advice and help on all matters ethical.

Forgive our rabbit minds – it’s nothing to do with fashion, but we’re interested. Are you still chairman of Mentor UK (charity working towards the prevention of drug abuse in young adults)? Do you reckon your love of fashion and Mentor UK could somehow combine?

Yes, I am still chair. There is synergy through working to promote ethical lifestyles and helping others of course. From a practical level what I am able to do is use my experience as brand director of Miss Selfridge to help the charity develop and spread the message about drug prevention in children, through marketing, fundraising and raising the issue with the Government and public alike.

The pendulum is definitely swinging towards DIY ethics at the moment – sites like show that people want to make their own stuff, or buy stuff that has been handmade. What would you say to greenshoot indie designers who aren’t afraid of hard work and are keen to get their independent business off the ground?

Persevere and don’t give up! Also, seek out those already in business and get some sound commercial advice and support.

Sim has joined Adili now. Will her high street Miss Selfridge pedigree help ethical fashion be more accepted by mainstream fashion consumers?

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