I was first enchanted by the principle of sustainable development in 2005 and since that time I’ve got involved professionally in this branch of industry. Everything was falling together perfectly at that time – I’ve just completed Sociology studies and a year earlier I finished Management studies at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń. There could be no better point in time to discover corporate social responsibility (CSR) 😊. I strongly believe that organizations function better when they are fair to employees, suppliers, consumers and other stakeholders. In my opinion, it simply pays off in the long run.

For many years I have been observing changes in the market, which were heading towards a more responsible gain of profits. While working with companies in the implementation of sustainability to their business strategy, I noticed that these are multiannual processes. Mainly because social responsibility, beyond the technical change of processes, requires above all, a change in attitudes, behaviors and awareness of people who make decisions in companies. A few years ago I concluded that the key element in the sustainable development jigsaw puzzle is (alongside corporations) CONSUMERS. They have the power to demand more responsible decisions in global business as well as in their own environment.

Changes are essential for each and every industry: food, electronic, motor, transport… It would take long time to list them all. This blog deals with clothing industry, because fashion has always intrigued me, however, then it began to irritate me… When it comes to sustainable development – there is still room for improvement here. Being an enthusiast of clothing, a consumer and a person professionally involved in sustainable development, I cannot pretend that I do not know about the industry’s destructive impact on the environment, the exploitation of people sewing clothes and a range of other unethical practices in the supply chain.

I believe that the industry not only can change, but it also can be an example of systemic change across the entire sector. Besides, some changes are already happening -responsible fashion is spreading wider and wider.

It’s not by coincidence that the name of the blog is a question about how to “dress” and not how to “be fashionable”. How to Wear Fair is a play of words. This expression includes not only the things that we put on ourselves, but also how to be fair to others and to ourselves. I’ve noticed for some time now that the term: “fashionable” makes me irritated. I have a feeling that the term itself has devalued a lot. It no longer indicates good style, quality and sophisticated taste. I associate it with the manipulation of the great giants from the clothing industry, who have already determined two seasons ago on what will be fashionable today. As a result, consumers buy enormous amounts of, very often, poor quality things, “fashionable” for three months, in order to replace them during the next season.

For several years I have been tracking information on employment and ways of treating the employees in the clothing industry. I have participated in projects dedicated to responsible fashion. I am not indifferent to the history of clothes that I wear, but at the same time I wonder: “what alternative do we have?”   We – the consumers. Do we have access to clothing, shoes, cosmetics produced in an ethical way that minimizes the negative impact on the environment, treats employees and us – consumers – with dignity? Can we demand corporations to give us information about the supply chain?

Are there any global and local companies that are truly producing ethically?

Can we really “Wear fair”? By writing this blog I will try to answer myself and you these questions.

I do not deal with fashion professionally. I am rather an enthusiast of clothing and ethics in business. In this blog, I seek to find a link between these two topics. I do appreciate craftsmen, people who create their products with passion and create local brands, giving them the quality and value that I am looking for. I like to listen to people who do not follow the trends, those that are looking for their own way.

Marta Karwacka